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Code Orange

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  4,167 ratings  ·  513 reviews
With a school report due, Mitty Blake considers it good luck when he finds some old medical books in his family's weekend house. However, when he discovers an old envelope in one of the books, the report is no longer about the grade--it's about life and death. 5 1/2 8 1/4.
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published September 27th 2005 by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michael
Code Orange is an exciting story filled with adventure, thrill, and horrid desises.
It is about a boy named Mitty Blake. A high school student who would rather listen to music opposed to school work. So, one day, Mitty’s biology teacher gives the class a project on infectuis desises. Mitty goes to Conneticut every weekend and so this time he goes to his place and finds these books. He finds a book on viorla majora. He opens it up and finds these scabs. He accidentally crumples them up and puts...more
Kelly
Jun 10, 2008 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 7 -12
This should have been the Indiana Young Hoosier winner for 2008. It has everything, mystery, suspense, gore, history....I love the fact that Cooney draws students into to this great story and then shows them the way to do research and the way NOT to do Research.

Mitty is a procrastinator and is the epitome of a bright student with a lack of motivation to do his work properly. His girlfriend is the opposite, she is a dedicated, driven student that does above and beyond what is required. She is an...more
Ellis Stice
Elements and Style: Caroline uses great first perspective but in the book changes who it's coming from for a bit. It fits well with modern day time and creates a thick details to support main events. You have to pay attention to lots of little parts in the story. This story really was a great thriller and I just couldn't stop reading it.

Characterization: The starting of this book Caroline creates slacker for her main character and you don't find him interesting. But then later in the story when...more
Nova
Code Orange was an exciting book. I think this would be novel that would capture the interest of readers from grades sixth through ninth. The main character in Code Orange is Mitty Blake, an affluent New York City teen who cares more about socializing and listening to music than achieving academic success at his private prep school. All this changes when Mitty becomes engrossed in a project on infectious diseases. Mitty decides to do his project on smallpox when he discovers a sampling of smallp...more
Rita
My students disliked this book, and I thought it was very boring, too. Not terribly immigrant-friendly, either.
Jackie
Who knew a required term paper would result in a bioterrorism threat, a possible re-emergence of smallpox and being taken hostage by thugs who want to destroy New York City. Mitty Blake, once again, leaves research for his biology paper until the last minute. He can't get to the library, the bookstores are closed and he can't use the internet as a resource. Surreptitiously, he finds old biology books in his mother's office. Books that were bought as part on an estate sale to be used as decorativ...more
Cassidy Wharton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ms. Feigen's English 9 Classes Feigen
Andrew F. Per 3

Code Orange is a fictional piece written by Caroline B. Cooney. I think that this book is great for young teens, but is too graphic for anyone younger. For example in the book the main character gruesomely describes what happens when you get smallpox. I also think that the book is too easy for anyone older than 14. I think Cooneyt's inspiration for the book was to show how people act if they think they are seriously ill or dying. For example the first thing the character did was g...more
Zoe Reimers



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Code Orange is about a boy named Mitty who goes to a private school in New York. Most people go because they are smart, but Mitty goes because his parents are rich and have high hopes for him. He has biology with his best friend Derek and his girlfriend Olivia. Mitty is a slacker and doesn’t like to do his work. In his biology class they got assigned a big project over any disease they wanted and how it relates to bioterrorism. Mitty decided last minute to...more
katnick
I expected to like this book a lot more than I did. I greatly enjoyed the Face on the Milk Carton series and I'm something of an infectious disease enthusiast, so Code Orange should have been the perfect book for me. Unfortunately, I was severely unimpressed.

Mitty, the book's main character, is an unlikeable slacker. He hates school, doesn't listen to teachers, thinks books are a waste of time, and believes that dropping out of high school and listening to a lot of music will earn him a career a...more
Michelle
As a scientist myself, I found this book to be well-researched on the topic of smallpox, bioterrorism, and infectious diseases in general. There was some dramatization, but for the most part, the storyline was plausible. I read this book in about 5 hours. It was a quick and easy read that I found quite engaging. I hope more YA authors turn to science for inspiration and do justice to scientific facts as Cooney has. There's nothing worse than reading a novel where a plague/virus/natural disaster/...more
Debra
I thought this was a surprisingly good read, especially for a young adult book. I had picked this up to fit a GR group reading challenge and was very much entertained. It's a page-turner and full of interesting facts about small-pox. Is the hero carrying deadly smallpox or not? Read this fun book and find out!
Sakura Mikan
Chilling and a tear-jerker. I promise no spoilers, you wouldn't want to be spoiled anyway.

From collecting five-star rates from its reviewers, the book also earned praises from its readers.

In my opinion this book does shake you to the core. I just love how I would be nervous and confused and unknowing of the future that may happen to the character. I love how I practically shouted at the book for the character's idiocy.

This book deserves an award. It's narration to the suspense left by the auth...more
Nora Baker
This was so good! The twists and turns in it with a little romance. It kept me on the edge of my seat, even though I took a break from it for a while.
Cherie
What a kick in the head piece of writing. I was amused, dubious, appalled, horrified, relieved, amazed, shocked, depressed, hysterical, and awed, over and over during the course of the reading of this book!
Drew Sagehorn
I thought this book was very interesting and well written. It kept me wanting to read more and more. Caroline Cooney did a great job with the way she wrote the book. She kept the readers guessing and made it enjoyable to read. She could've done a better job of introducing the characters, but eventually you end up knowing them pretty we'll. Cooney presented the events of the story in chronological order, which really helps the reader understand the events that are going on. The book is relatable...more
Marcia
Mitty lives a cushy life in Manhattan, attends private school and has a country house in Connecticut. He is not a fan of school, except for girlfriend Olivia. He is lazy, and procrastinates, and needs to write a paper on an infectious disease. This becomes a fascinating story of smallpox and the scourge that killed and maimed so many. Could it still exist? What threat is bioterrorism in a post 9/11 world? This was a great, high sped page turner. I thought the book took a slight down turn in the...more
Alison McMahan
I really enjoyed this. Fast paced, and a wonderful, funny, point-of-view character. Kids will love it, and if you are a librarian or teacher or parent wondering if you should get this for your kid, the answer is YES. A much better way for them to learn about biological warfare and epidemics than the dull way in can be packaged in science class. Have a kid who isn't clear on how the ebola epidemic really works? Just give them this book. The disease in question is small pox, but you will hardly no...more
Samantha
This book is what really started my interest in the Medical Field.
Nickie
Cooney did her research again. I am glad she puts so much effort into writing these one story novels because I enjoy reading something every so often that doesn't turn into a series. This one is about a teenager who procrastinates on a biology assignment who becomes motivated to complete it based on his attraction to a girl in the class. He finds himself researching diseases in old textbooks when he accidentally inhales some old small pox scabs. The book goes on to enlighten the reader as to som...more
Kyle Miller
This book might have been the most boring thing I have ever read in my life. This book was not for me at all, it might just be me, I might not get it but I honestly think this was the worst thing I've ever read in my life.

I rated this book a one, because it dragged on the whole time, I didn't know what was happening, and the author kept switching the story throughout the whole book. At first it wasn't that bad, but then I read the second chapter, and I cant explain the boredom I went through aft...more
Mr. Z
Mitty has only one reason to pay attention to his classwork: Olivia; a classmate who shares a mutual interest in him. Usually, Mitty laughs zones out to teacher lectures (in favor of listening to his i-Pod) and laughs off assignments. Things change when his biology teacher assigns a paper about infectious diseases. Mitty comes across a 100 year-old book containing a mysterious envelope which, it turns out, is holding samples of scabs from the 1902 smallpox epidemic. When Mitty comes to terms wit...more
NJ
I don't feel as attached to Code Orange as I did with the Janie series. I think this one, compared to the series mentioned, was a "lesser Cooney". However, there are still good points in this book so I gave it no less than three stars.

Now, for the comments. I feel like the book's a little obsessed with smallpox. It has been repeated loads of times in the book that it became a little silly. Mitty's a really interesting main character but I don't feel much attachment to him. I actually liked Derek...more
Emma Anderson
Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney is a great book including mystery adventure and even a little romance. This book is about a teenage boy Mitty Blake who is a slacker in many ways. In Biology class they are doing research projects on different diseases. It is due in three days and guess what Mitty hasn't even picked his disease yet. Luckily his mom bought a ton of books from a doctor and some of them are about diseases. Looking at the books Mitty decides to do his on small pox. A very very painf...more
Rissa83
I was really unsure about what this book would be like from it just sitting on the shelf. But,as all people say don't jude a book by its cover. I got it and started reading the first page and adimatically i was sucked into it!
Code Orange starts off where this boy named Mitty never does his homework and always satres at this girl infront of him. Whom he has gone to school with for years but really just realized she was there. when his teacher finially assigns the class a project Mitty didn't wa...more
drunkcoke83
Code Orange (one of my favorites) is a novel written by Caroline B. Cooney. It has times after the September 11 attacks. Mitty is a slacker at school until his teacher, Ms. Lynch, gives him a report about an infectious disease named Variola Virus. He realizes that when he researches it up, it actually shows a report that smallpox might be the source of getting it, even in New York City. He then worries about it when some of his family members gets it. It then he finds a medicine that might cure...more
Ruhama
Jan 14, 2011 Ruhama rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
Mitty has hit a slump, and he’s only a junior in high school. Unfortunately, he can’t hide his bad grades too much longer, and he actually gets a little interested in his biology report (especially since he could get booted from the class, and that would mean no Olivia nearby). Everyone is to pick a disease and research it: Mitty picks smallpox. One weekend in the family country home provides Mitty with the four book sources he needs, as his mother collects old books for decoration. In one of th...more
Allegra
Jan 26, 2010 Allegra rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested in medicine
Recommended to Allegra by: Library
"Code Orange" by Caroline B. Cooney is about a young teenager named Mitty Blake. In science class they have to do a project on infectious disease. Although the project was assigned four weeks ago, Mitty, being a typical slacker, waits until the very last minute. Mitty decides to do his project on smallpox because of the surplus of books his mother just bought from an old doctor on them. While Mitty is looking through one of the books, an envelope marked "Scabs- VM epidemic, 1902, Boston" he open...more
Gracem
May 11, 2008 Gracem added it
When teenager Mitty Blake is assigned a paper on an infectious disease he chooses Variola Major, which is more commonly known as the smallpox virus. Mitty finds some old textbooks written by doctors in the late 1800s and the early 1900s and decides to use them as sources for his paper. In one of the books in an envelope full of scabs which Mitty handles. He later discovers that these scabs were scraped off humans that had contracted smallpox and were kept for later studies. When Mitty realizes w...more
Jill Williamson
In Code Orange by Caroline Cooney, procrastinator Mitty Blake has put off his biology research project for too long. At the last minute, he digs up some antique medical books from to use as references for his bibliography. He finds an envelope inside one of the books with the word “variola” written on the outside. Inside are several scabs. Mitty thinks he’s hit the jackpot until he starts to learn more about the disease: small pox. He fears he may have contracted the disease. He goes online and...more
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Caroline Cooney knew in sixth grade that she wanted to be a writer when "the best teacher I ever had in my life" made writing her main focus. "He used to rip off covers from The New Yorker and pass them around and make us write a short story on whichever cover we got. I started writing then and never stopped!"
When her children were young, Caroline started writing books for young people -- with rem...more
More about Caroline B. Cooney...
The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson, #1) Whatever Happened to Janie? (Janie Johnson, #2) The Voice on the Radio (Janie Johnson, #3) What Janie Found (Janie Johnson, #4) Both Sides of Time (Time Travelers, #1)

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