The Declaration by Gemma Malley

The Declaration

Written by Gemma Malley

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A powerful, gripping and tense futuristic novel about a world which has gone mad, a world where life is forever except for the likes of Peter and Anna (who shouldn’t be there at all according to the declaration) who are struggling to escape the past in order to find a better future. The Declaration is a chilling, dystopian view of how life may be in the not too far off future, reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and PD James's The Children of Men but written for a young teenage audience. It’s a novel that highlights many issues which affect us today in modern Britain: the obsession with youth and beauty; our pill-popping culture where each ailment can be remedied with some unknown chemical cure; the over-population of the earth; our age-old fear of teenage culture. The author, Gemma Malley has expressed quite brilliantly and concisely these many different issues in this ground-breaking, mesmerizing and compelling novel.

To find out even more about this series click here to visit a site created by the publisher.

Click here to download a document where Gemma talks about the inspriation behind the Declaration series.


The Declaration by Gemma Malley

Imagine this: death is no longer inevitable and all children are an abomination. Imagine this: there are drugs which stop the onset of ageing and because of this, there's no room left in the world for youth and renewal and that most natural cycle of life: birth, youth, middle age, death. This is Anna Covey's world.
Anna is a Surplus, and in effect should never have been born at all. Like all Surpluses, Anna lives locked away in a borstal-like Surplus Hall, where Surpluses are forced to make amends for their parents' selfish act of having had them at all. Having known nothing else, Anna accepts her dark fate, the lack of light and laughter and freedom which is her world. Until one day a new inmate arrives and Anna's life as she has known it is thrown into chaos. Is Anna brave enough to accept what the mysterious new boy is telling her and will he manage to free her from the lies which bind her?


Malley’s unusual debut is a haunting and suspenseful page-turner - The Times


Gemma Malley is a really distinctive voice in the world of children’s books. She brings a powerfully intelligent approach to her stories and never ‘dumbs down’ the complexity of her philosophical and political debates, but she does it in the context of a brilliantly plot driven character focused story which carries the reader along through the narrative in an utterly compelling way.

Her books challenge the reader to think about the world and current issues that face us all, the quest for eternal youth, the overpopulation of our planet, the need for us each to take responsibility for our actions as well as for the actions of the governments we put in place. She allows the reader to explore the story and at the same time really explore their own opinions.

Gemma Malley has created four exceptionally fine novels in the short time she has been writing and I firmly believe that it is only the beginning of her long and stellar career.

Sarah Odedina Publishing Director Bloomsbury Children’s Books

About the Author

Gemma Malley

Gemma Malley studied Philosophy at Reading University before working as a journalist. She edited several business magazines and contributed regularly to publications including Company Magazine and The Sunday Telegraph before moving to the civil service, where she held a senior position within Ofsted, the education and care watchdog.

She is married to Mark, the headmaster of a preparatory school in North West London.

Click here to download a document where Gemma talks about the inspiration behind the Declaration series.

What are your favourite children's books and why?

I've wanted to be a writer since I was very young — I was always writing stories, and spent the vast majority of my childhood creating imaginary lands in my head. I got a job as a journalist after university and that was a huge confidence boost — to know that someone would actually pay me to write! I always knew that I wanted to write a book — I just had to wait for the right idea to come along.

Probably the letter to my agent, Dorie Simmonds. It was that letter that led to my books being published instead of languishing on my computer hoping to be read by someone!

I have lots of favourite foods — spaghetti bolognaise, baked potato, vegetable soup, dark chocolate with nuts, fresh figs. In the winter, I love comfort food — food that's warming and nourishing, like sausage hot pot; in the summer I can't get enough of salads and fruit (particularly strawberries and cream).

That's a very tough one — I love films. I grew up watching musicals — everything from The Sound of Music to Singing in the Rain, and I still get excited by the prospect of a Sunday afternoon musical fest. I also love action films — from Indiana Jones to the Bourne Identity. But I think my favourite film is probably one called Babette's Feast, which is a beautifully filmed story about a French woman who loses everything and moves to a small Swedish village. It's a film about friendship, loyalty, acceptance… and food!

I'd like to say an astronaut or an adventurer, but I think I would have ended up writing in some way — perhaps as a journalist, or perhaps working in education. I might even have become a teacher — I think working with young people and getting them excited in a book, a subject or the world around them is about the most rewarding thing you can do.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It really depends — it can take weeks, months or even years! Sometimes a book just flows out of you; other times you have to wrench it out.
Where do you get your ideas from?
I get my ideas from all over the place — an overheard snippet of conversation, the news, films… Having said that, I generally tend to have my best ideas on holiday, in the first few days when my mind is still racing but it's got nothing to focus on. It doesn't take long before my brain shuts down completely, so I have to make the most of any inspiration while it lasts!

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Book Info




Gemma Malley
More books by Gemma Malley

Author's Website


Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Publication date

3rd September 2007




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