facebook twitter goodreads pinterest blogger email

The Pledge The Pledge
Margaret K. McElderry, 2011

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

Check out the Reading Guide for Teachers, Librarians, and Reading Groups


Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble


Margaret K. McElderry, November 2011, ISBN-13: 978-1442422018


  • 2013 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection

"Derting's chilling dystopia envisions an America ruled by monarchy, most of its cities razed, and its citizens straitjacketed in a caste system divided by language... Derting (Desires of the Dead) is right on when depicting the bonds of family, friendship, and first love."
   —Publishers Weekly

"...gripping dystopian fantasy... More great suspense from a prolific new writer with a vibrant imagination."

" and engrossing."

" imaginative, well-written page-turner full of twists and guaranteed to please fans of dystopian literature. It will leave them clamoring for the sequel... and hoping for a movie version."
   —Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

"Kimberly Derting's remarkably original and deliciously romantic dystopian, The Pledge, unfolds at a breakneck pace. I held my breath until the very last page and am already desperate for more!"
   —Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH

"...a dark and magical book with a unique concept ... an interesting departure from Derting's other works, but it is a promising one."
   —Figment Blog