Code Orange

Code Orange

by Caroline B. Cooney

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Overview

Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney

Walking around New York City was what Mitty Blake did best. He loved the city, and even after 9/11, he always felt safe. Mitty was a carefree guy–he didn’t worry about terrorists or blackouts or grades or anything, which is why he was late getting started on his Advanced Bio report.
Mitty does feel a little pressure to hand something in–if he doesn’t, he’ll be switched out of Advanced Bio, which would be unfortunate since Olivia’s in Advanced Bio. So he considers it good luck when he finds some old medical books in his family’s weekend house that focus on something he could write about. But when he discovers an old envelope with two scabs in one of the books, the report is no longer about the grade–it’s about life and death. His own.
This edge-of-your-seat thriller will leave you breathless.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756982102
Publisher: Random House Childrens Books
Publication date: 09/01/2007
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 855,323
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Caroline B. Cooney is the bestselling and award-winning author of numerous books for young people. She lives in Westbrook, Connecticut, and New York City.


Read an Excerpt

Code Orange


By Caroline B. Cooney

Random House

Caroline B. Cooney
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0385732597


Chapter One

Chapter One


On Friday, Mr. Lynch walked around the classroom making sure everybody had written down the due date in their assignment books. Luckily, he started at the far side, giving Mitty Blake time to whisper to his best friend, "Due date for what?"

"Notes for the term paper," whispered Derek. "The one you've been working on for four weeks?"
Mitty hadn't even chosen a topic yet.

But Mr. Lynch had been teaching for years. He had encountered many Mittys. So although the paper itself didn't have to be turned in until February 18, on this coming Monday, February 2, each student in advanced biology had to submit an outline, ten pages of notes and a bibliography including four physical books.

"Books?" said Mitty, stunned. He was sure this had not been mentioned before. "Mr. Lynch, nobody uses books anymore. They're useless, especially in science. Facts change too fast."

"Books," repeated Mr. Lynch. "This is to prevent you people from doing a hundred percent of your research online."

Mitty had done zero percent anywhere, but he had certainly planned-insofar as Mitty had plans, which he didn't-to do his research online. So he said, "Mr. Lynch, an actual book is out of date before it gets printed. Anyway, a good scientist does laboratory research."

"We did laboratory research last fall, Mitty," said Mr. Lynch. "I don't recall that you threw yourself into your project. I recall that you received a passing grade only through the efforts of the rest of your team. A scientist, Mitty, has to be able to dig through the published research of others. A scientist has to grasp the background and history of things. That means books."

Mitty was willing to grasp the background and history of rock music. On a slow day, he could listen to Nirvana or Pearl Jam. But the background and history of disease?

Because that was the depressing topic of this assignment: infectious disease.

"Each of you," Mr. Lynch had said, so many weeks ago that Mitty could barely remember it, "will choose an infectious disease of plants, animals or humans. You will study the disease in history and its ancient treatments or lack of them. If the disease has a specific history for us here in New York City-for example, during the yellow fever epidemics of the 1700s, people sometimes died at the rate of three hundred per city block per day-you will cover that. Other sections of your paper: description and course of the disease, current treatments and ongoing research. Finally, if your disease has an application in bioterrorism, you will cover that also."

Even Mitty had awakened briefly to the exciting possibility of bioterrorism.

Derek of course had wanted to be an exception to the rules. "Can we research bioterrorism only? I want to do anthrax but specifically Ottilie Lundgren, the ninety-four-year-old woman who died of anthrax in 2001 when she opened her mail. She's FBI case number 184. It's impossible for me to use books. No book has been written about her yet. All my research has to be online." Derek warmed to a favorite topic. "I can solve her mystery. I believe everything is online now, every clue I need, and I can nail her murderer."
"I would be proud of you," Mr. Lynch had said, without sarcasm, "and you may focus on Ottilie Lundgren, but all that will do is make your paper longer. You still have to include everything I described and you still must have four books. Remember, class, that I too know how to use Amazon.com. I too can pull up a title that looks useful and stick it in a bibliography without actually reading the book. I too can open up the free first chapter and find something to put in my notes. I will know if you actually read a book or if you are cheating."

Mr. Lynch was one of the few teachers who admitted that even here at St. Raphael's, a Manhattan prep school for the rich and/or brilliant (Mitty fell into the first category), there was such a thing as cheating. Other teachers skirted this possibility as if it were anthrax-laced mail.

Right away, rare cool African diseases like Ebola and Lassa fever had been chosen by eager students. Two other kids also wanted anthrax but promised not to invade Derek's territory by mentioning Ottilie Lundgren. As the days went by, people began discussing their topics with excitement, as if they were genuinely interested. One girl had been allowed to choose Immunization: does it or does it not cause autism? Mitty would get autism just thinking about that. Another girl really did pick a plant disease and was deep into corn blight. Olivia, whom Mitty adored, had chosen typhoid fever and was already so advanced in her research that she was using the library of Columbia University's medical school, because every other library in New York City was too limited. Mitty hadn't been inside any library in the city of New York.

As soon as Mr. Lynch finished ranting, Mitty slumped down in his seat. He had perfected the technique of listening to music on his iPod while a teacher talked. It was easy if he wore long sleeves. He kept the iPod in its armband and ran the cord down his arm and into his hand. Cupping the earpiece in his palm, he would rest his head on the same hand and listen to his music. His eyes stayed fixed on his teachers, who tended to be fond of him because he seemed so interested.

Mitty's main interest was music. His life plan was to become a rock concert reviewer, the world's best job, and to prepare for this career, he had to buy, listen to and memorize everything out there. He really didn't have time for term papers. He certainly didn't have time for books.
Mr. Lynch extended his hand for Mitty's assignment calendar.

Every fall, St. Raphael's handed these out.


Excerpted from Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

1. In Chapter One, Mitty learns that the term paper assigned by his biology teacher, Mr. Lynch, requires a bibliography that includes at least four physical books, so that students’ research is not done exclusively online. Discuss how the Internet is as important as any character in this novel.

2. Mitty is a likeable slacker. How do his relationships with his friends, the people in his neighborhood, and his family change as the story develops? How does Mitty himself change? Discuss Mitty’s feelings about his “hometown,” New York City. How does where you live change your view of the world?

3. Except for laboratory samples, variola major, a killer virus, has been eliminated by scientists.How can people feel safe despite the threat of bioterrorism? How involved should government become with scientific research?

4. Mitchell John Blake and Olivia Clark are classmates and friends, yet each wants more from their friendship. How do Mitty and Olivia signal their interest to each other? Do male and female approaches to romantic involvement differ? How?

5. Often teenagers do not confide in their parents, even though their parents want to know what’s going on. Discuss the complex relationship between Mitty and his parents. Can you understand his parents’ point of view?

6. The FBI and the CDC come to Mitty’s school seeking information. Discuss the issues of privacy vs. homeland security.

7. When Mitty sends out a general e-mail asking for information on the scabs he has found, he has no idea who might reply. Who are the bad guys in this story? How do you think people such as terrorists justify killing innocent people? Can you think of any cause that would lead you to violent action?

8. Mitty realizes that turning himself in to the proper authorities could mean life or death–not only for him, but also for millions of people. Discuss how Mitty develops a stronger sense of patriotism and decides to go with the woman he believes is from the CDC.What is the meaning of being a good citizen?

Foreword

1. In Chapter One, Mitty learns that the term paper assigned by his biology teacher, Mr. Lynch, requires a bibliography that includes at least four physical books, so that students’ research is not done exclusively online. Discuss how the Internet is as important as any character in this novel.

2. Mitty is a likeable slacker. How do his relationships with his friends, the people in his neighborhood, and his family change as the story develops? How does Mitty himself change? Discuss Mitty’s feelings about his “hometown,” New York City. How does where you live change your view of the world?

3. Except for laboratory samples, variola major, a killer virus, has been eliminated by scientists.How can people feel safe despite the threat of bioterrorism? How involved should government become with scientific research?

4. Mitchell John Blake and Olivia Clark are classmates and friends, yet each wants more from their friendship. How do Mitty and Olivia signal their interest to each other? Do male and female approaches to romantic involvement differ? How?

5. Often teenagers do not confide in their parents, even though their parents want to know what’s going on. Discuss the complex relationship between Mitty and his parents. Can you understand his parents’ point of view?

6. The FBI and the CDC come to Mitty’s school seeking information. Discuss the issues of privacy vs. homeland security.

7. When Mitty sends out a general e-mail asking for information on the scabs he has found, he has no idea who might reply. Who are the bad guys in this story? How do you think people such as terrorists justify killing innocent people?Can you think of any cause that would lead you to violent action?

8. Mitty realizes that turning himself in to the proper authorities could mean life or death–not only for him, but also for millions of people. Discuss how Mitty develops a stronger sense of patriotism and decides to go with the woman he believes is from the CDC.What is the meaning of being a good citizen?

Customer Reviews

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Code Orange 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 149 reviews.
BookLover44 More than 1 year ago
'Code Orange' was a book I read for Summer Reading. The first few chapters didn't pull me in, but I decided that I should keep reading. I am glad that I did! This is probably one of my favorite books! I finished it in less than a day and it is a terriffic, fast read. I would recomend it to everyone and anyone.
Mikarabians More than 1 year ago
Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney is a scary and amazing read. Just like in previous books, Cooney manages to portray a real feeling, emotional, scary, teenage setting. Mitty is a normal, lazy, teenage guy growing up in New York City. That is until his teacher assigns a report on infectious diseases and he actually decides to do his homework for once. He opens a hundred year old book his mother has lying around and finds Smallpox scabs from the 1911 epidemic. It doesn't occur to him until about half way through his report what this could mean for him. As teens are prone to do, Mitty keeps the problem to himself and lets it haunt him. This book is an emotional roller coaster, one minute Mitty's sure he's dying, the next he figures his contact with the scabs was actually an ancient innaculation, the next he's worrying about opening the epidemic again to the whole world. This story has an amazing, new and exciting plot; an invisible enemy with no brain and no conscience. This story has an amazing ending and will leave your skin crawling for days. This is most definately an unforgettable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books i have read in a while. Fast paced and keeps you thinking. Amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good read, somthing i see me reading over and over again!
yesac11 More than 1 year ago
Mitty, a teenage boy that attends a Manhattan advanced biology class, scrambles to finish a project that he had been slacking off on for the past few weeks. Now for the sake of getting kicked out of school, he gets a move on writing down a few small pox notes when he stumbles upon a 100 year old sealed envelope... I would reccomend this book to sci-fi action readers for the sophisticated, yet intrigueing story line. i rate this book a 9.3/10
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
code orange is a really good book. its about this boy Mitty who has to do a history report and he did his on smallpox. i would say read the book and find out what happens but i think it was a good book not just a waste of time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, so a long time ago (like years) I read this book. Over the years I have been trying to figure out the name of this book and I finally did, ater looking in the back of Burning Up, another Caroline B Cooney book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was AWESOME!!! There were so many twists and turns, it alwyas kept you on your toes. Had the perfect ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 11-14
Kathryn Lienhard More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a report in health, and i enjoyed it.
Tina_Chan More than 1 year ago
Title: Code  Orange ¿Author: Caroline B. Cooney Genre: speculative fiction Review: Okay, first of all--what the heck is "speculative fiction"? I had no idea what genre to classify this book so I  googled it up and that was  the answer. Honestly, speculative fiction sounds like sci-fi. Maybe they're like cousin genres? Anyways, enough said about genres-I- didn't-know-existed-until-now.  My thoughts for this book was mixed. I had heard some great reviews about Code Orange so I was looking forward to reading it. Perhaps I had set my expectations too high because I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would Alrighty, let's start off with the good parts, shall we? I really liked the whole plot idea of Code Orange.  Scratch that. I really really really liked the whole plot line. Mitty, the main character of the novel, is assigned with the task of writing a report about an infectious  disease.  He decides to do research on some pox diseases. When he opens up an old medical book, he is surprised to find an envelope labeled "Pox Scabs" (or something like that...I don't remember exactly and I've already returned the book to the library so I can't look it up. ) And guess what, he freaking opens it!!!! I mean seriously...this kid's in high school and he opens an envelope filled with pox scabs even after he learns a lot about how deadly  small pox is! Well, now Mitty is potentially infected with small pox, a disease thought to be long dead. This opens up the doorway to the topic of bioterrorism.  It turns out terrorist are willing to release deadly diseases and small pox seems to be the perfect virus to fulfill this job.  Mitty gets kidnapped by some terrorists wanting to use him as a biological  weapon and before he knows it, he's world is spiraling out of control. Okay, now let's touch bases on the part I didn't like so much about this book. Actually, there's really only ONE thing I didn't enjoy about Code Orange: Mitty.  I strongly disliked this Mitty character. I mean, he's supposed to be a high school junior yet his actions are like of a 5th graders! Like I mentioned before, he opens an envelope filled with small pox scabs. Then he offers it online. Also, although I feel like he would be a nice kid in real life, he is just so lazy (and I'm pretty lazy myself but Mitty's laziness is a whole different level.) I feel like  if Mitty was maybe a middle schooler, his character would be much more believable. My final thoughts: Great book for younger readers (like 5th-8th grade.) Likes:     *interesting plot line; I haven't read any books revolving around a disease before     *you learn some facts about infectious diseases Dislikes:     *the main character
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just got this book on my nook and i dont want to put it down. It's probably gross for girly girls but i think its a great book so far. I didnt finish it but so far its really good. Im not even halfway through at the moment. By the way, im a girl and im not really girly but can be...but i love this book so i recommend it. For those people who say its horrible, you should check yourselves because this book keeps you wondering if mitty has smallpox or not! Such a great book!
NevilShute on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Drags in a few places, but fascinating information. It must have bogged down, because I skipped to the end and then came back to fill in the blanks.
parkridgeya on LibraryThing 6 days ago
While conducting research for a high school biology report on smallpox, a teenaged boy finds an envelope containing 100-year-old smallpox scabs and fears that he has infected himself and all of New York City.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thrushpaw <p> 6 moons <p> Male <p> Light brown tabby with amber eyes. Fluffeh!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been taken to orange city go to res 2
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name --- Dur. Look up. Age: 13 Moons. Appearance: Reddish-brown tom with a white belly and faint white stripes. He has a small limp in his right front paw and a scar over his left eye. His eyes are red with a glint of silver. Personality: Shy at first, and doesn't talk too much. He'll only talk to people he looks up to or fellow Clan members. He is creative and flexible. He is actually decent at hunting and enjoys it. Likes: Medicining, sleeping, hunting. Dislikes: Water, mud, twolegs thinkng he looks cute and picks him up and takes horrible photos with a white, thin box they call an 'iPhone'. Mate: None. Kits: Emberheart (Adopted), an snow white she-cat with green eyes who enjoys hunting. Skills: Medicining. &#9786 &#9786 &#9786
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name--Flintspark<p>Age--19 moons.<p>Looks--super-light ginger mottled with white patches. Dull yellow eyes.<p>Gender--Tom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name &infin Look up <p> Age &infin Don't Bother Asking <p> Gender &infin Tidepool <p> Appearance &infin A bluish silver with longfur and beautiful blue eyes. <p> Species &infin Main Coon <p> Abilities -infin Can summon water at will. When angry her eyes radiate and a crashing wave crashes down either drowning the cat or making them die of hypothermia. When shy small puddles form at her feet. <p> Crush &infin Starts with a... Who cares it's Tundra! <p> Mate &infin Naw <p> Kits &infin Loves them but no!!! ToT <p> Siggy &infin &#10003 <p> Rper- &infin Breeze &infin <p> Theme Song- Demons by Imagine Dragons
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is good so far! Caroline B. Cooney leaves you on the edge of your seat! I like it! Read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!(I am also kinda a girly girl) Those of you who think this is just for guys..... really? I don't think anyone would care. The book is great action, light violence and a little bit of romance! I recommend to ALL genders ages 9-14!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago