Tag archives for Caroline B. Cooney
BOOK NAME: Code Orange
AUTHOR: Caroline B. Cooney
A historic killer will possibly ravage New York City. This weapon of mass destruction is so small that it is undetected by the naked eye. It takes a microscope to see it. Who or what could wreak havoc on the city and the people who live there? It’s a virus known as Variola major, or smallpox. Throughout history smallpox killed thousands of people until its eradication a century ago. That is, it was believed to be eradicated.
For his biology course, Mitty has to do a report on an infectious disease. Mitty, a known slacker, would rather talk and goof off. As the due date for the report nears, Mitty knows he must begin his report. In a hunt for his topic, Mitty discovers several old books about smallpox. Not only that, he discovers actual smallpox scabs in an envelope lodged in one of the books. Since Mitty has not researched the virus and is unaware of the infectious risk, he unknowingly handles the scabs. Unwittingly, Mitty Blake might become the first smallpox case in over 100 years. Soon after handling the scabs, he begins to show peculiar signs and symptoms. To make matters worse, Mitty lives in one of the most heavily populated cities in the United States, New York City. New York City has been the target for terrorists, including bioterrorists, who could use Mitty’s find to cause a human catastrophe in this great city. Smallpox, one of the most deadly diseases of all time, could possibly infect everyone. What will be the fate of Mitty and New York City?
This book was actually quite tense. The most intriguing thing about this story is that a smallpox outbreak could quite possibly happen if the virus managed to stay alive over time. If a scientist could store and contain infected tissue in which a virus managed to survive, who knows what would be the consequences. The descriptions of the oozing pox or pustules and other symptoms of smallpox made my skin crawl. I actually pictured the horrible disease in my mind, almost like I was seeing it with my own eyes. I enjoyed the constant suspense. Almost every chapter ended with a time line of how long it had been since Mitty had touched the scabs and made me uncertain what would happen next. If you like fiction that seems realistic, and have a strong stomach, this is the book for you!