The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Book Info

Grade Level
Middle School, High School
STEM Concepts
Psychology, Engineering, First Aid, Botany, Green Technology, Orienteering

The Testing takes place after a series of wars and natural disasters when the US has been reduced to a handful of colonies. Cia, a sixteen-year-old girl from the Five Lakes Colony (near the former Great Lakes) is chosen to participate in the Testing to determine whether she will have the leadership qualities necessary to attend the university. When she starts taking the tests, she realizes that there are more than just grades at stake. In fact, passing the Testing might just be the only way to stay alive!



Navigating the Post-Apocalypse

Watch the NIU Geography Club teach us how to use a compass and other navigation tools to get around in the wasteland of the post-apocalypse.

Testing Anxiety

Watch Melanie Bickley speak about what testing anxiety, why we feel it, and how to deal with it.

Engineering or Extinction

Dr. Kristin Brynteson talks us through the process of engineering design and building process. Watch students from NIU STEM Read's "The Testing" event build something out of nothing.

The Testing Event - Highlights of the Day

Check out these highlights from The Testing: The STEM Read Experience

Joelle Charbonneau's Top 5 Stephen King Books

Reading is fundamental for students who want to pursue writing. In this video, author Joelle Charbonneau (The Testing, Dividing Eden) lists her Top 5 Stephen King books!

Rejection and Failure with Joelle Charbonneau

The writing process is fraught with rejection and failure. Joelle Charbonneau talks about her personal journey to becoming a published author and what students can learn from their failures.


Check out photos from The Testing: The STEM Read Experience over in our The Testing gallery.

Photo from The Testing: The STEM Read Experience


Idea Sparks and Mini Lessons

These questions, prompts, and short activities provide quick ways to inspire interest and explore the STEAM concepts related to the book. Idea Sparks and Mini lessons can also be used for differentiation and to foster new ideas of your own.

Download Lesson Plan

Navigating the Post Apocalypse

In this activity students will learn how to navigate without GPS using the chain link method of navigation by following a set of directions in order to reach a final location.

Download Lesson Plan

Engineering or Extinction

In the book The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau, Cia is forced to adapt and build in order to survive. In this activity, students will design different prototypes in order to solve different problems. Using the engineering design cycle, students will work in teams to brainstorm, design, build, and test their prototypes. Students will then vote as a team on the prototype that best solved the problem presented in order to see who would survive The Testing.

Download Lesson Plan

Video Discussion Guide

Watch the videos and then use these questions to facilitate classroom discussions about the topics presented.

Download the Video Discussion Guide.

About the Author

Joelle Charbonneau

Joelle has performed in opera and musical theater productions across Chicagoland. She now teaches private voice lessons and is the author of the New York Times best selling THE TESTING trilogy (THE TESTING, INDEPENDENT STUDYand GRADUATION DAY) as well as two mystery series: The Rebecca Robbins mysteries (Minotaur Books) and the Glee Club mysteries(Berkley). Her YA books have appeared on the Indie Next List, on the YALSA Top 10 books for 2014 as well as the YALSA Quick Picks for reluctant readers. Paramount optioned THE TESTING as the project is currently in development. Other titles by Joelle include NeedDividing Eden, and Time Bomb.

Learn more at

Source: Joelle Charbonneau