Economics, Engineering, Disaster Management, Public Health, Quarantines, Sociology, Virology
It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High — until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.
A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school.
In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, a 2012 Booklist Editor’s Choice, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive.
Quarantine: The Field Trip
On Thursday, November 19th, STEM Read locked hundreds of high schoolers in an abandoned high school to play out some scenarios from the popular sci-fi book “Quarantine” by Lex Thomas. They learned about viruses, economics, and more, while participating in costume contests, market trading, and a food drop much like the one in the book!
Dye-ing to Meet You!
The high schoolers in Quarantine dye their hair with Kook-Aid to identify which gang they belong to. Here, Alice, a high school student and generally awesome person, shows us step-by-step how to dye your own hair!
Surviving the Supply Drop
NIU’s STEM Read sits down with Dr. Tammy Batson to discuss the economics behind Lex Thomas’ novel “Quarantine: The Loners.”
What is the Meaning of the Word Slut?
One of the gangs in “Quarantine: The Loners,” is the Sluts, an all-female gang that’s tough as nails. Dr. Laura Vazques, media professor at Northern Illinois University, talks about the meaning of the word slut, and the modern connotations of the word.
Quarantined by STEM Read
Click the image below to access pictures taken at the Quarantine event. These images were part of the STEM Read and SMARTspace@NIU activities with students.
Students explore the history and use of costumes, design and create costumes based on characters in the book, and present creations during a costume contest.
Designing For the Drop
Work in teams to determine your strategy for gathering supplies, as well as your new device that will help gather the most valuable supplies.
Take on the market as students barter and trade in an attempt to climb to the top of the Quarantine clique food chain.
Video Discussion Guide
Watch the videos and then use these questions to facilitate classroom discussions about the topics presented.
Lex Thomas is the pen name for the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Lex received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia and has worked as an actor, director and writer. Thomas graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. Now he enjoys writing and exhibiting his realist oil paintings in Los Angeles. Lex and Thomas first met in a writers’ group in Los Angeles. While sharing bizarre movie clips with one another their friendship grew. Then, in 2005, Lex and Thomas joined together as a writing team and published their first book “Quarantine: The Loners” in 2013.
Learn more at lex-thomas.com.
Other books by Lex Thomas:
Quarantine: The Saints
Quarantine: The Burnouts
Quarantine: The Giant