Teacher Guide

The Hot Zone Lesson Plan

Relationship to Other Books

The Hot Zone is a good introduction to the concept of creative nonfiction, and could be juxtaposed with other works like Richard Ben Kramer's What It Takes or Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. Preston sacrifices neither drama nor facts, and his story is constructed to wring the maximum suspense out of the situation without veering into fiction. Students may also enjoy Preston's other works, especially The Demon in the Freezer, about smallpox.

Since the book covers a semi-apocalyptic scenario, students may be interested in veering into fictional world-ending plagues, as in Station Eleven, The Stand, or Oryx and Crake. Such books could offer a fascinating comparison, as they could contrast...

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