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Study Guide for Code Red at the Supermall

A series of bomb scares threaten the popularity of the West Edmonton Mall. Tom, Liz and their not-so-funny sidekick Deitmar Oban become involved in the exciting and dangerous search for the elusive "bomber".


Pre-reading suggestions

It is hard to picture a single building large enough to contain over 800 stores, a huge amusement park with rides, a regulation size hockey rink, a monstrous waterslide park, whole streets of restaurants, an island marina complete with passenger-carrying submarines and a large "theme" hotel. In most cities, malls of 100 or so stores are not uncommon, so young readers who have not seen the West Edmonton Mall have little to compare it to. They need to "think big" to imagine this one. Photos can be located in the Junior Encyclopedia of Canada and in Elma Schemenauer's Hello, Edmonton.

In the front of Eric Wilson's paperback, there is a floor layout of the mall. Imagine walking eight city blocks from the hotel to Luggage Unlimited. Look at the size of the Ice Palace near the center of the mall.

Discuss how you would feel if your home or school or local mall had to be evacuated due to bomb threats.

Discuss how you feel about friends who insist that you do something with them even though you have told them that you do not want to be involved.




  1. Why were Tom, Liz and Dietmar visiting Edmonton?

  2. Give four ways people can move around inside the mall besides walking.

  3. Dietmar likes to pull "gags" or "practical jokes" on people. Describe two stunts he pulled.


 4. Liz is Tom's older sister. How much older is she?

 5. Tom describes Dietmar as a "couch potato." What does this expression mean?

 6. Why would someone spray-paint a message like "We don't want your kind" on the wall of a store?


 7. What is your opinion of a person who plants bombs in a public place?

 8. If you were involved in an incident involving racism, how would you react? Explain your answer.

 9. Liz said to herself, "Wow! I'm really glad I did that!" Why was she congratulating herself? How would you feel if a friend insisted you do something when you didn't want to do it?


10. The Santa Maria was one of three galleons in Christopher Columbus' exploration expedition of 1492. Find out the names of the other two, and describe a galleon.?

11. Using a recent Canadian Almanac or encyclopedia, find the following facts. Tell which sources you used.

  • Alberta's population and capital city

  • The principal economic resources of Alberta

12. The sharks in the tank at West Edmonton Mall are called Lemon Sharks. In many encyclopedias, there are pictures which show the relative sizes of sharks. See if you can find a picture that will give you and idea of how large (or small) the adult Lemon Shark is.


  1. Inspector Austen was helping to train security staff, so he brought his family (and Dietmar) with him.

  2. Electric carts, rickshaws, elevators, escalators.

  3. Plastic fly in Liz's drink, plastic spider in Liz's book, pushed dummy off balcony.

  4. 2 years - Liz is 16, Tom is 14.

  5. Tom means that Dietmar spends too much time sitting around watching TV.

  6. Someone thinks they are better than someone else. This is known as discrimination. In this particular case, it is "racial" discrimination.

  7. Answers will vary.

  8. Answers will vary.

  9. Liz had stood up to Chad when he tried to force her to go on the Mindbender.

  10. The Nina and the Pinta were the other two ships.

  11. Edmonton is the capital. Population figures will vary, depending on the source used.

  12. Students will have to check encyclopedias or "shark books" to find pictures.


Copyright (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

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