Hi. My name is Tami. I am the author of this blog. You can contact me by posting a comment or emailing me at readaton@gmail.com. I am also happy to add you as a friend at www.goodreads.com where I keep track of everything I am reading.

I LOVE to read. I am pursuing my master's degree in library and information science at San Jose State University. Right now I mostly use this blog for class assignments.

No matter your reading tastes you will find books for you here. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Code Orange

Code Orange

by Caroline B Cooney
Delacorte Books, 2005
ISBN 0385732597
208 pages

4 (out of 5) STARS

Plot Summary

Mitty lives in New York and he enjoys doing the least amount of work that he can get away with at school. He has a huge report due on infectious diseases due the very next day. He wants to get something turned in because if he doesn't he will get kicked out of the honors biology class and that would be awful because the girl he likes, Olivia, is in that class. So Mitty goes through his mother's old books and find some old smallpox scabs.

The more Mitty learns about smallpox the more worried he becomes about handling the scabs. He finally sends out some emails to lots of experts and health organizations trying to find out if he could become infected from the scabs. If Mitty got smallpox, he knew he could cause a worldwide plague. The action gets more intense from here but I do not want to give any more away!

Critical Evaluation

This book is a wonderful suspense, action book. It is similar to the writings of Harlan Coben who writes action/suspense adult fiction. There was not huge character development but the gist of this book was the suspense and the action.

I find the topic of infectious disease to be very interesting so this was an added bonus to read about. There were tidbits of information about Edward Jenner who discovered the vaccination for small pox.

Reader’s Annotation

Mitty Blake discovers smallpox scabs in an old medical text. As he learns more about the disease he is concerned that he has contracted the disease from the scabs.

Information about the author

"I had a wonderful sixth grade teacher. His name was Mr. Albert. All the girls wanted to grow up and marry him, and all the boys wanted to be just like him. Every Friday, he made us write a short story. He had a stack of covers from New Yorker magazines — detailed and brightly colored, like cartoons. He'd pass them out and we'd have to write a short story to match the picture we got. I was the one in the class who never stopped.

I love to write. I love to make things up. I'm in a library or a bookstore most days of the week, because I love to be around other people's books, too. Reading and writing books takes up most of my life. Now I've added talking about books on school visits, which is all the fun and none of the work of writing.

The best part of school visits is meeting my readers, since my three children are grown now and I don't get to hang out with teenagers (although I still play the piano for the four choirs in our middle school). School visits are such a neat way to see America. When you're in Indiana one week, Oregon the next, and Louisiana after that, you go home astonished and honored to have met all those wonderful kids and their teachers.

“Where do you get your ideas?” Readers ask this question of every writer. I don't usually know. I just wake up with a mind full of ideas. But we all have great ideas; I could go to your school and brainstorm with your class, and we'd end up with a great plot, or ten of them. The hard part is turning the idea into a book.

Sometimes I do know where an idea comes from. When Louisa, my oldest child, became an ambulance volunteer at 16, I wanted to write a rescue book, and that idea became Flight #116 Is Down. I volunteered for several years in an inner city hospital, and from that experience came Emergency Room.

There's more teamwork in writing than you would think. I have a wonderful editor, and we talk and talk about the next book I'm going to write — or the book I've just finished writing that she thinks needs a little more work. It's sort of like having your own lifetime English teacher: No matter how well you write, she thinks you can do better and mails the story back to you to do again.

I was born in 1947 in Geneva, New York, and grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. Except for a few years in North Carolina, I've always lived in Connecticut. I tried four colleges and faded fast at each. Every now and then I order myself to go back to school and get my degree, but nothing ever comes of it. I use my children, Louisa, Sayre (rhymes with fair), and Harold, in all my books. I just finished The Terrorist, based on the year Harold and Sayre convinced me to live in London, England.

I'm a happy person. I've been told this is shallow, and if I thought more deeply, I would know better; I would be miserable. But I think that most of us, even if our lives are full of misery, want to think on good things, and plan for good lives. So I write about good kids trying to do their best, even if the world around them has crumbled and doesn't offer good choices."


I realize that was a long author biography, but I thought it was quite interesting and well-written for kids.


suspense. action.

Curriculum Ties

health. infectious disease.

Booktalking Ideas

*If you found scabs in an old medical textbook, would you touch them? *If you found out you were infected with an infectious disease that people no longer got vaccinated for, what would you do?

Reading Level

ages twelve and up

Challenge Issues


Why Included?

This book was included on a library list for mystery/suspense young adult novels. Reading the back cover intrigued me.

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