Code Orange
Caroline B. Cooney


While doing research for a paper for school, Mitty comes in contact with smallpox scabs from over a hundred years ago. As he learns about smallpox, he believes that he may have brought back this horrible virus. In his desire to save his city of New York City and his country, he writes a suicide letter explaining that this was the only way to save mankind from this terrible virus. He is then kidnapped by terrorists who wish to use him and this terrible virus as a weapon of mass destruction. He ends up not getting smallpox and capturing the terrorists. Throughout the book he becomes a person who cares more about others than he does just about himself.

Story Line

Life Application

My brother was given a smallpox vaccination before deploying to Iraq. It is still a threat of bioterrorism. However, the more relevant life application comes from using the life we have to make a difference in our world rather than selfishly focusing only on ourselves and our desires.

Ideas for Use in Classroom

This book could be used to generate good conversation on bioterrorism. Also, it shows the vast difference in our lives today because of technology and transportation from that of a century ago. I could ask the students about how that affects their lives or what changes they would have to make if they couldn’t travel as we do today. It could also be used to generate thought on what each student would be willing to do to save someone else from harm.

- SM