Blood Pathology, Epidemiology, Human Health, Parasitology
In Peeps, vampirism is caused by a blood parasite. When the main character, 19-year-old Cal, is infected with the parasite, he must track down everyone he spread the virus to and find the mysterious woman who infected him. Along the way, Cal has to battle blood-thirsty savages, explore New York’s rat-infested sewers, and deal with the raging parasite inside him. Cal gets help from a young journalism student, but will she become his next girlfriend or his next victim?
This fun, fast-paced detective story puts a new spin on the vampire legend and explores scientific concepts of real-live parasites and epidemiology.
Rats and the Black Death: Two Things You Don’t Want to Catch
As you learned in Peeps, rats can be reservoirs for disease, storing germs and viruses and even deadly plagues inside their little rodent bodies. Watch this video to hear from European History expert Bethany Aidroos on the role rats played in the Black Plague, one of the most deadly pandemics known to man.
Rats: Pests or Pals?
Sure, rats live in sewers, eat garbage, and act as vectors for human disease, but they can also be cuddly companions. Watch this video to hear why teenager Alana thinks her pet rats are a great addition to her family.
Looking for something creepy and fun to read after Peeps? Librarian Steve Roman from DeKalb Public Library has recommendations for you. Watch this video to learn about more books on everything from Victorian monster hunters to the real-life scientists who explore the hidden worlds underneath our modern cities.
Play the Disease Tracker Game. You’re an epidemiologist trying to find and contain the source of an avian flu virus before it wipes out a small Illinois community. Coming Soon!
Say the word “parasite” and the words creepy, evil, blood-sucker, and gross all tend to come to mind. But various ecosystems greatly benefit from the much maligned parasite. In this PBL, students first research the value of parasites. Secondly, they will create their own parasite and determine the impact of introducing it into an ecosystem.
The various species discussed in the book all had adaptations that allowed them to survive. In this PBL, students will research endangered animals and determine an adaptation that would increase the chances of survival.
Video Discussion Guide
Watch the videos and then use these questions to facilitate classroom discussions about the topics presented.
Scott Westerfeld is the author of several novels for young adults and adults. He is best known for his futuristic, sci-fi series Uglies and his historical, steam punk series Leviathan. Westerfeld is originally from Texas, and now splits his time between New York City and Sidney, Australia, to avoid winter weather in either hemisphere.
Before becoming a writer, Westerfeld worked as a factory worker making lead soldiers, a substitute teacher, a textbook editor, and a software designer. And, according to his blog, he never ever wears jeans.
Learn more about Scott Westerfeld, check his upcoming appearances, read his blog, and view videos about his books at http://scottwesterfeld.com.
Read The Last Days, Scott Westerfeld’s sequel to Peeps
New York City has always been a crazy place to live, but the crazy level seems to have been kicked up a notch. The city’s crime rate and garbage problem keep growing. Garbage men have abandoned certain alleys and even whole neighborhoods to the skyrocketing population of rats.
Between the crime, garbage, a stifling summer heat wave, a mysterious illness spreading through the population, and the geysers of black ooze erupting from city sewers, some residents are fleeing the city. Others seem to be totally losing their minds—trashing their most prized possessions and biting people on the subway.
Amidst the chaos, two teenagers become fast friends when they rescue a vintage guitar that a crazed woman has thrown out of her apartment window. The teens, Moz and Pearl, form a band with their friends and decide to focus on what really matters: getting a record contract before the world ends.
Other Books by Scott Westerfeld
- Leviathan Series
- Uglies Series
- Midnighters Series
- Risen Empires Series
- So Yesterday
- Evolution’s Darling
- Fine Prey