Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Code Orange

Caroline B. Cooney is a master of teen suspense, having authored such perennial favourites as Face on the Milk Carton and Whatever Happened to Janie? She takes a slightly different tack here, focusing her tale around a boy and a dread disease - a favourite topic of mine.

When Mitty starts researching his topic for science, he starts with an old medical textbook out of desperation, and trips across a sample of what turns out to be smallpox scabs. Suddenly, his research takes on a new urgency, he is on countdown to when symptoms and contagion might develop, and he makes some wrong moves when he starts to panic. When he receives emails from some strange people and some scarily official people (like the CDC and the FBI), he has some fast decisions to make. He finds himself in the wrong hands, waiting for the end of the disease's incubation period to see what might happen next...

I love the suspense of this, I like the character, and of course, I am a sucker for a good tale of infectious disease. This is good fun.

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