Author Feature-Tracy Deebs



Spirit of Texas Reading Program-High School

Featured Author

Tracy Deebs 

Tracy Deebs

Doomed

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Tracy Deebs collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. By ten she'd read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so in desperation her mom started her on romance novels. And from the first page of the first book, Tracy knew she'd found her life-long love. Now an English professor at her local community college, she writes young adult novels that run the gamut from dark mermaids to cyberArmegeddon stories and sexy contemporaries to superheroes. You can contact her at tracydeebs@gmail.com.

 

 

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Book Quiz/Discussion Questions

Printable Copy

  1. In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first human who let her curiosity get the best of her. She opened a jar that unleashed all the evils upon the world. In Doomed, a character named Pandora, after the mythological character, was sent an email from her father. Her mother has always instructed her to ignore her father because he was a bad man. Could you have deleted his email without reading it or would you, like Pandora, open the email?
  2. After Pandora, connects with the game, and the Internet starts to fail, she is tracked down by several different government officials. She is accused of cyberterrorism and all of her "electronic data processing and media devices" are needing to be confiscated to examine. If you were being accused by the government, how would you handle this situation?
  3. Pandora, Theo, and Eli are skilled gamers who must play the game in order to save the world. In what way can video games prepare you to face challenges in the real world?
  4. In the current news we see boycotts and riots nearly every day. This is mirrored in Doomed when the electricity goes out and the looting and pillaging begins. How far would you be willing to go in this scenario to ensure that you were able to eat and provide for yourself and your family? Would you consider taking actions that previously you would have thought to be morally and ethically unsound?
  5. After Pandora inadvertently opens the box and releases the virus, she is lead on a scavenger hunt to try to beat the game in order to save the world. Is there anything that Pandora, Eli, and Theo could have done differently that would have made things easier for them?
  6. It was interesting how Pandora, Theo and Eli were each prepared to deal with the digital apocalypse in different ways. Do you think you have any skills or knowledge that would help you in this kind of disaster?
  7. When Pandora was being interrogated by the different government agencies in regards to her involvement with the worm she unleashed, why do you think she didn't just tell the truth about the email and her father?
  8. What message do you think the story was trying to convey to readers?
  9. There were many discussions about saving the world from climate change, is there any moral responsibility that was considered?


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Academic Programs

Printable Copy of Program

Supplemental Documents

STAAR Writing Rubric for Persuasive Writing

Activity 1: World/US Geography Lesson using Geoguessr

Introduction:

Geography plays an important part in Pandora's quest in Doomed. This activity uses Geoguessr, a web-based geographic game that challenges users to guess the location of a random place in the world using images from Google Street View. Students will participate in the web-based game, using their knowledge about terrain, climate, vegetation and other facts to determine their assigned location.

TEKS

  • World Geography Studies- 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 7c, 7d, 8a, 8b, 8c, 9a, 9b

Books to Display

  • Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
  • Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  • Paper Towns by John Green
  • Finding Paris by Joy Preble
  • Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Activity Supply List

  • Access to computers with internet access (1 per student)
  • 1 Pen/Pencil per student
  • 1-2 sheets of notebook paper

Detailed Description of Activity:

Using previous lessons on terrain, climate, vegetation, regional/cultural symbols students will guess and record their observed location they have been placed in on Geoguessr – students must also record WHY they chose the location based on the "previous lessons."

Once students have guessed, Geoguessr will share where the student was actually placed, the distance from the students observed location to where they actually were – the students will record the actual location, how close they were to the actual location, and factors that may be similar to the actual location in comparison to the location they chose.

After the Geoguessr exercise is complete, students will record their overall success as given when they have finished.

Activity Resources

Activity 2: Greek Mythology and You

Introduction:

Doomed makes several references to Greek mythology. This activity will show students the influence of names and aspects of Greek mythology in local businesses. Students will use a variety of magazines and newspapers to identify businesses that have names related to Greek mythology.

TEKS

  • English 1- 2a, 2b
  • English 2- 2a, 2b
  • English 3- 2a, 2b
  • Humanities- 2a
  • Communication Applications- 4a, 4b, 4g

Books to Display

  • Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
  • Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
  • Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
  • Troy by Adèle Geras
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • The Flame of Olympus by Kate O'Hearn
  • The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu

Activity Supply List

  • Access to computers with internet access (1 per student)
  • 5-10 Magazines
  • 5-10 Newspapers
  • Paper
  • Writing utensils
  • Glue, colors/markers/map pencils
  • Colored paper

Detailed Description of Activity

After studying the major Greek gods, heroes, and myths:

Each student is asked to find at least twenty current businesses that use names related to Greek mythology. They can use the phone book, magazines, newspapers, or the Internet. No two businesses can be based on the same mythological subject.

The student should explain why that type of business would use that name. They will need to find out all they can about the company, why the company chose their name, (e.g. Apollo Heating), or how they came to choose their logo, e.g. (Pegasus for Mobil). Then they do a presentation where they share their findings as well as their knowledge of mythology.

After a class discussion over their findings:

Each student is asked to create a magazine ad for an imaginary business or product named after a Greek mythological character. The ad must include: a drawing, the product, business name, and a slogan which provides a reference to additional information about the Greek mythological subject.

Activity 3: 10 Days Left

Introduction:

Doomed is essentially a novel about survival. For this activity, students will use their own knowledge as well as ideas from Doomed to choose items they feel are essential to survival after a disaster. They will explain why they chose those specific items and how they think those items will help them survive.

TEKS

  • English 1- 13a, 13b, 13c, 13d, 13e, 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, 16f, 16g

Books to display/book talk

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton
  • Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • Peak by Roland Smith

Activity Supply List

  • Access to computers for word processing
  • Notebook Paper
  • Writing Utensil
  • Colored, Laminated Pictures of Survival Items (3x number of students)

Detailed Description of Activity

The teacher will have a number of colored, laminated pictures (3x the number of students in their largest class) of different items on the front table of the classroom. These would be items that you would need in case of a disaster like in Doomed; e.g. flashlight, batteries, a backpack, a GPS, 3 bottles of water, matches, etc.

The students would pick 3 of the items from the table they think would be the best choice to have in a Doomed situation.

Students will then write a persuasive paper convincing their classmates why their items would be the BEST choice for survival.

Activity Resources

 

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Active Programs

Printable Copy

Activity 1: Pandora's Treasure Hunt: Geocaching

In Doomed, Pandora's father sends her 12 pictures that trigger a cyberterrorist attack. Each of the pictures provides a clue in the video game that she must play. While they are in the video game, Pandora, Eli and Theo are searching for coordinates that will instruct them where to go. Searching for coordinates is a fantastic parallel for a geocaching program. Geocaching is a recreational outdoor activity similar to a treasure hunt. Teens will be able to use coordinates to find specific geocaches just as Pandora and friends were able to find locations.

Books to Display

  • North of Beautiful by Justina Chen
  • Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Geocaching by The Editors of Geocaching.com
  • The Joy of Geocaching: How to Find Health, Happiness and Creative Energy Through a Worldwide Treasure Hunt by Paul Gillin and Dana Gillin
  • Geocaching for Dummies by Joel McNamara
  • Geocaching: Basic Beginner's Guide by Vince Migliore

Supply List

  • GPS or smartphone
  • Computer with internet access
  • Paper/Pencils
  • Small trinkets or toys to put in geocache (optional)
  • Projector (optional)

Detailed Description of Activity

This geocaching activity can be done two different ways depending on the library's situation/location. If a geocache is near or on the library property, choose one or more of those geocache coordinates for the teens to hunt. If a geocache isn't nearby, the librarian can hide a geocache on the property, and then, have the teenagers search for the new geocache.

Geocaching.com is a wonderful resource to any person interested in geocaching and any geocaching program. The first thing to do is sign up for their free basic account. Once you sign up at geocaching.com, searches can be made by zip code to see if any geocaches are local. Searching for the geocache will guide you as to how you will conduct this program.

Before the program begins, make sure the librarian running the program has either a GPS or a smartphone. The teens are welcome to use theirs to enter the coordinates and search right along with the leader.

At the beginning of the program, the librarian will give an overview of geocaching. This can be done by providing a quick explanation of what geocaching is and how it is conducted. The librarian can also go to the geocaching.com website and show this to the teens using a projector. From here, details can be given about geocaching dos and don'ts.

After an overview is given, start the hunt by entering the desired geocaching coordinates into the GPS or smartphone in the map application. The GPS/phone will have a location indicator and you will move around your location until you have found the geocache.

As mentioned above, if a geocache isn't found locally, geocache locations can be added to geocaching.com. More information on how to do that is provided in this activity's resources.

When the teens find the geocache, they can sign the logbook. The logbook gets signed whenever someone finds the geocache, so they will be able to see all the people who have come before them.

Incentives

In addition to a logbook found with a geocache, sometimes toys, trinkets, or other small objects are hidden. The teens can take an item found the geocache; however, it is proper geocache etiquette to leave something of equal value to the item you take. Be prepared with a small item to leave at the site.

Resources for Teens, Teachers & Librarians

Activity 2: Looks Delicious: Foraging for Wild Edibles

Doomed provides readers with a quick glimpse of what life would be like if all of the modern conveniences that are so relied upon suddenly vanished. What would our world look like if we no longer had electricity? How would society be able to obtain food? Pandora, Eli, and Theo had a pack of provisions and were able to barter in convenience stores, but what if this hadn't been available? In this program, teens will learn some techniques on how to identify edibles found in the wild.

Books to Display

  • The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  • The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Supply List

  • Camera
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Wild Edible Field Guides
  • Wild Edible Instructor

Detailed Description of Activity

If the library has funding available to hire an instructor to teach the teens about foraging, check local resources and book an instructor at least a month in advance to allow for advertising time. Local instructors might have different types of classes available and different class lengths. If the library does not have the funding to hire an instructor, check other local resources. There might be someone knowledgeable in this subject area who works at the local high school, a community college or an extension agency who would be able to volunteer his/her time. There might even be a foraging group in the area.

There are many different books and online resources available to use, so if it wasn't possible to have an instructor come in, the librarian would be able to lead a class. The goal of this program is to take the teens on a tour of the areas surrounding the library and see if they can identify wild edibles.

Before the program begins, check out several plant identification books from the library to let teens look at the different types of plants that they can eat. Ask if there are any plants that they are surprised that they can eat. Also, before walking around the library building, ask teens if they can guess how many edibles they will be able to identify.

When you walk around the library building take some of the books with you to use as guides to share the nutritional value of the plant or some of the specifics to look for such as color, texture or size.

Have the students take notes on the different types of plants. If they have cameras or cell phones, they can take a picture of each plant they find.

If the librarian is leading the program rather than booking a presenter, check out some of the free apps that are available for download from the Apple Store or from Google Play. Be sure to read the information and the ratings before downloading. The apps have visual recognition software that will identify the plant based on the photo. It is always helpful to have the books on had that way you can double check the answer.

Resources for Teens, Teachers & Librarians

Activity 3: I Will Survive: A Crash Course in First-Aid Training

Throughout the book, Pandora and her friends got injured and saw many others get hurt. In the face of a terrorist attack or even the unpredictability of every day, it is important to know basic First-Aid Skills. This program will teach some of the basics with interactive learning.

Books to Display

  • The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook by American Red Cross and Kathleen A. Handal
  • Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury
  • Living Ready Pocket Manual- First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival by James Hubbard
  • Outdoor Life: The Ultimate Survival Manual: 333 Skills That Will Get You Out Alive by Richard Johnson
  • A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier
  • SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere by John "Lofty" Wiseman

Supply List

  • Projector
  • Computer/Laptop
  • Internet Connectivity

Detailed Description of Activity

If library funding is available, book a representative from the Red Cross to come to the library for a first-aid demonstration. On the Red Cross Website listed in the resources, librarians will be able to select the "Classroom" tab and look at the different types of classes that are offered by the Red Cross. If having a representative from the American Red Cross isn't the best option for your library, check the local fire department and/or police department to see what sort of survival or first aid training they provide for classrooms/libraries. When having a demonstrator come to the library, make sure you have room for the students to move around. Depending on the presenter, they will have different requirements for their demonstration.

If a presenter is not able to be procured for this program, the American Red Cross offers free online classes. Have a room in the library where a computer/laptop can be connected to a projector. You will need to sign up for a free account with the American Red Cross, and you will be able to add one of their free online only classes to your cart to checkout and view. The teens will be able to watch the video and learn about basic first-aid skills.

Resources for Teens, Teachers & Librarians

 

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Passive Programs

Printable Copy of Program

Supplemental Documents

Battery Instructions

Make a Compass

Mythology Match Up

Mythology Match Up Answer Key

Activity 1: Survival Tool Creation

Introduction

Survival plays a key element in Doomed. This program will allow teens to participate in an activity even if they aren't able to attend a library event. They will be able to come and participate in this activity at any time. For this, the librarian will set up three different stations for teens to create a compass and a battery out of pennies.

Books to Display

  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Far North by Will Hobbs
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • Peak by Roland Smith

Activity Supply List 

  • Compass:
    • Plastic Lid or Shallow Bowl
    • Needle or Straight Pin
    • A Bar Magnet
    • A Slice of Cork/Styrofoam or the Top of a Plastic Milk Jug
  • Water
  • Battery:
    • 5-7 Pennies (Must be copper outside and zinc inside)
    • Paper Towels or Other Absorbent Material
    • Lemon Juice (salt or vinegar works too)
    • Sand Paper
    • Tape-recommended
    • LED

Description of Program

Gather all needed supplies for the teens. Librarians can set all the supplies on a table with the necessary instructions found in the activity resources. Teens can make the compass and/or battery at the table. Another option is to gather the supplies and put it in a plastic bag and staple the bag to the instructions. By doing it this way, the teens are able to take the activity with them and make it on their own time.

Activity Resources

Activity 2: Mythology Match-Up

Introduction

For this passive program the librarian will create an interactive bulletin board display where students can familiarize themselves with different mythological characters. This display focuses on Greek and Roman characters. The object of the match-up is to test the teens' knowledge of the various names of these mythological gods and goddesses.

Books to Display

  • A Song For Ella Grey by David Almond
  • Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
  • Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
  • The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn
  • Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland
  • The Eternal City by Paula Morris
  • Keepers of the Labyrinth by Erin E. Moulton
  • Only Everything by Kieran Scott

Activity Supply List

  • Bulletin board
  • Colored paper
  • Tape/stapler
  • Glue
  • Printer
  • Folders

Description of Program

Mythological characters are prolific in teen fiction, but not all students know that the gods have different names based on the origin of the myth. The goddess of love is the same person in both Roman and Greek mythology, but she had two different names: Venus and Aphrodite.

Staple or glue the two short sides of a folder and leave the long side open. Take the sealed folder and attach it to the bulletin board with tape or a stapler with the open side facing up. Print out the Mythology Match-Up handout and put the sheets in the folder. Next to the folder, adhere the answer sheet to the bulletin board. Be sure to take a blank piece of paper and staple it on top of the answer sheet so that the answers are hidden. You can use bright colored paper as accent colors to the board or you can print the handouts on colored paper.

Teens will be able to take the handout from the folder, answer the questions, and then check their answers.

Optional: If you would like to have incentives for this activity, do not put the answer sheet on the bulletin board. Students will take their handout to the librarian who will check their answers sheet. The librarian can set a number of questions that the student will need to get correct in order to get a small prize.

Incentives

  • Bookmarks
  • Candy
  • Books (advanced reader's copies)

Activity Resources

 

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Created on Apr 11, 2016 | Last updated April 18, 2016