85 pages 2 hours read

Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2013

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.


The Testing

  • Genre: Fiction; young adult dystopian
  • Originally Published: 2013
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 830L; grades 7-10
  • Structure/Length: 22 chapters; approx. 352 pages; approx. 11 hours on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: In a postapocalyptic United States, 16-year-old Cia is selected to participate in The Testing, a top-secret ordeal that many people do not survive. She and her friend Tomas make it to the final test, in which they must navigate a treacherous course through what remains of Chicago.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Violence, death, suicide

Joelle Charbonneau, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1974; holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and a master’s degree in opera performance; has performed in opera and musical theater in the Chicago area; was inspired to write The Testing after observing the pressure her voice students faced in high school; besides The Testing trilogy, has written the Rebecca Robbins mysteries, the Glee Club mysteries, and other books
  • Other Works: Independent Study (2014); Graduation Day (2014); Need (2015); Time Bomb (2018); Verify (2019); Disclose (2020)
  • Awards: Agatha Award for Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel (nominee; 2013); Anthony Award for Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel (2014)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • The Environment, Its Destruction, and Human Dependence
  • The Ends Justifying the Means
  • Dystopia and Youth Resistance

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will: