Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Pox On Both Your Houses

Caroline Cooney. Great talent for creating a compelling page-turner. Code Orange is no exception. Mitty Blake's transformation from rich, good-natured lunkhead to biological weapon of terrorism turned unsung international hero was a fast and interesting read. I had read the excellent "Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster" a couple of years ago, and found myself harking back to that text as I read this chilling tale of the potential for smallpox re-emerging in our much more mobile world. Though a bit heavy-handed at times ("It had now been four days since Mitchell John Blake had inhaled the particles of a smallpox scab.") it certainly does raise important questions about disease in a global community, power, terrorism, vaccine funding, and individual morality. Like those television ads that say "Felled by a clot no bigger than a grain of rice" or the thought that a mere piece of paper can slice through the "protective" skin we rely on to guard us from the world's physical evils, this book makes it very clear that a virus is a serious threat. And BOY HOWDY do I wish I had Louise Rennison's new Georgia Nicholson book about now -- I need a bit of fun in my next read!

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