Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Code Orange

I'm reading a Teen Nutmeg Award nominee 2010 book, Code Orange. It's about a slacker kid who has to write a report about an infectious disease, and (I'm guessing here) meanwhile gets the disease. It's smallpox.

So far, the only interesting thing about the book is how it seems to relish in being timely, referring to the "recent" anthrax-laden envelopes (it takes place in 2004) and how one student is trying to solve the mystery of who sent them (that was solved last year). There are numerous pop culture references, iPod, American Idol, etc. I think it's supposed to make the book seem real, but it just makes me think how dated it's going to seem in two or three years.

Oh, another interesting thing about this book is that I found three scraps of paper in it. Each seems to be a type of award handed out by teachers and Hamden Middle School, encouraging students to "Be Exceptionally Special Today". Whichever student returned this book by February 28 was cited by a teacher who uses a red pen twice as having respect, and once by a Ms. Squiggle for an unidentified virtue. The choices are respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, citizenship, caring, and fairness.


  1. It's important to praise students for unidentified virtues, so that they don't start fixating on identified virtues.

  2. "Keep 'em guessing," that's what I always say.

    Of course it doesn't help if the kid is trying to collect all six for a complete set.