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The Notations of Cooper Cameron

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  271 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Eleven-year-old Cooper Cameron likes things to be in order. When he eats, he chews every bite three times on each side. Sometimes he washes his hands in the air with invisible water. He invented these rituals after the death of his beloved grandfather to protect others he loves from terrible harm.

But when Cooper’s strange behavior drives a wedge between his parents, and h
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2017 by Carolrhoda Books (R)
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Jenny Baker
4.5 stars

This was a wonderful story with exceptional writing. It’s a story about an eleven-year-old boy with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and the affects it has on his family. Cooper decides he wants to cure himself so that his family will be whole again.

I just loved the writing and the story execution. First, I love that his name, Cooper Cameron, is alliterative. This story is written in third person, but at times, the narrative voice sounds how somebody with OCD would think. One of Coop
Bish Denham
Aug 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I stumbled onto this book and had no idea what it was about when it showed up on my LIBBY app. What a wonderful treat.

First of all the writing... this in very close third person, present tense. It is SO close that most of the time it was almost like reading a book in first person. There is gentle humor, playfulness, and tangled emotions. There is just enough description to give you a sense of place.

I loved how even though Caddie gets mad at her brother from time to time, or is embarrassed by him
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley for an ereader of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

This was quite an amazing story! It was one of those books I could not put down until I had finished it. A good recommend for a tween audience. Worthy of five (5) stars.
You hear so many people tell you they have OCD which is entirely possible. I am not an expert on this behavior. However I do believe there are degrees from very mild to quite severe.
The author explains within the story how some types of OCD can
Sandy Sopko
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story of a boy's struggle to cope with the death of his grandfather and his OCD which worsens in spite of his attempts to manage it. ...more
AJ (the.booknerd.reads)
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018, favorites
the most unique children's realistic fiction book I've ever read. ...more
Prince William Public Libraries
This book is about a boy that has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) because his grandfather had a heart attack while fishing and fell off and drowned.While he was on the boat.He tried to save him but couldn't. Now Cooper thinks he has to chew 3 times, read each word 3 times, read each sentence 3 times, and read each page 3 times. Read this book to find out what happens!!

--Stacy L., PWPLS Teen Reader

Clink the link below to find the book and check availability at the Prince William County Publ
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book and before I get into the nitty gritty, it was amazing! The book holds so much emotional insight. The certain things that are special and only in this book interest me very much. For example:

-good and famous book
-I don’t know how to describe this, but when you end a sentence and instead of saying he or she, you move onto the action
-washing his hands in the air 
-the rocks 
-his fear of water 
-the number three

Each one of these, along with ones that are not listed add flavo
Jessica Taskinen
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The heartbeat of Cooper Cameron is to protect... protect his family... protect... always protect. After Cooper's grandfather died, Cooper developed a severe form of OCD which invades every aspect of his life. Cooper's heart is huge, his love for his family deep, and his ability to clearly see the beauty in life profound. This clarity isn't confined to the outside world, for in Cooper's eyes, if he could only cure himself, he could cure his whole family and make them whole again. Very few people ...more
Jeanine Wold
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cooper Cameron is a brilliant eleven-year-old boy who has been struggling with severe OCD since the death of his beloved Grandfather. Cooper employs various compulsions to protect those he loves; he reads every word in his "good and famous books" three times, chews on each side of his mouth three times, all in an attempt to keep his family from going up in flames. With Cooper's frustrated father in the picture, Cooper's mother moves herself, Cooper and his older sister, Caddie to her Dad's famil ...more
Devin Melle
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Notations of Cooper Cameron is the story of a young boy learning how to manage his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder while grieving the loss of his grandfather. After his mother brings Cooper and his sister to their deceased grandfather's cabin for a summer, Cooper must face all of his fears at once - water, his father's anger, pepperoni, and the thought of all of his loved ones dying if he does not perform rituals such as reading all of the words in his book three times.

For many, this may seem
Laura Salas
Cooper Cameron's counting and repetition felt so familiar to me. I grew up with a family member who had and still has severe OCD. O'Reilly manages to capture just enough of Cooper's compulsions to make you feel the bit of irritation but not enough to make the book hard to read.

There are so many elements here that Cooper is dealing with...grief over Grandpa's death, concern for his sister Caddie, fear of his father, fear of That Boy, the weight of responsibility of keeping everyone safe...For th
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
O’Reilly, Jane The Notations of Cooper Cameron, 312 Pages. Carolrhoda Books 2017. $18.00. Language: G (1 Swear, 0 ‘F’); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.

Cooper Cameron is afraid of losing everyone he loves if he doesn’t do the secret rituals he made up after his grandfather’s tragic death. His grandpa had drowned the year before on a fishing trip with Cooper, now Cooper blames himself for the incident and he is afraid he will lose everyone else. Cooper’s family decides they need a break from the c
Tawnee Calhoun
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
*I received an advance copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a very heartfelt, poignant novel about a young boy struggling with OCD after the death of his grandfather. Believing his grandfather's death to be his fault, Cooper invents rituals he must complete in order to prevent the rest of his family from dying. These same rituals end up causing a rift in Cooper's family; his father just can't understand or accept him. But with the help of his sister who is
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced ecopy of this book. All opinions are my own.

THE NOTATIONS OF COOPER CAMERON is about an eleven year old boy named Cooper, who has been struggling with the onset of OCD. I love how the author has based this story on her own experiences with her sister, and that readers are given a very honest portrayal life for someone struggling with OCD. Cooper's symptoms have developed since the death of his grandfather, and his family are struggling in their own ways. Co
Watch Books
Jan 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: middle-grade


I read an uncorrected proof version of this book that was won through Dogo books.The subject matter of this book was not one I especially gravitated towards, but it was on my shelf, so I gave it a try.The topic I'm sure is an important one to discuss and read about, but this one just was to hard to get through, or should I say, into.

The main character was bland, and instead of having something to connect with Cooper on, the entire aura around his characters dialogue, thoughts,
Kayla Phaneuf
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I originally picked this one up cause I thought the cover looked really cool. I have never read an author describe OCD so well, especially in the format of a children’s novel. Cooper’s OCD ticks were genuinely so accurate it even slightly triggered some of my older OCD ticks that I’ve overcome in recent years. It describes the constant isolation so well and the fear of unknowing but the constant awareness at the same time. Really impressive.

I love that O’Reilly put Cooper’s OCD into a personifi
Fatimah ZS.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've never actually read a book about the perspective of someone who has OCD. Although I have read a book of which the main character has a sibling with a mental disorder, never have I come across a book that shows others what it's like for the people who have it.
I've always thought OCD was just a minor thing, or a pet peeve, and I never really looked into it, or cared about it. But, since I've read this book, I've learned a lot. I've learned that OCD isn't just something that is "minor", but s
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Lerner and Carolrhoda books, along with Netgalley, for the chance to read an advance e-ARC of this book. It definitely helps this librarian plan, purchase, and promote!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars for this quietly nuanced tale about a boy's struggle with OCD. Cooper hasn't been the same since his grandfather's death. In fact, now he knows that he must follow precise rituals to keep the rest of his family alive. The Father does not believe in this, and as a result Cooper accompanies his mother a
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This is a really good, really challenging book. It’s written from the perspective of a young boy working with post-traumatic OCD, who doesn’t quite have the resources to understand and process it. It’s written almost in style similar to stream of consciousness, in a way that makes his anxiety and his internal logic very tangible. It’s almost physically stressful to read this book. Part of that may be that I live with certain anxiety issues, too, so I’m a little more invested in his triggers and ...more
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Notations of Cooper Cameron was a very interesting and eye opening book. I have read a few other books where the main character is struggling with some form of OCD, but with this book, I really felt Cooper's constant struggle. I felt like I was struggling right along with him. There were numerous times when I wanted to dry wash my hands right along with him, or jump into the book and tell him that it's not his fault and that it's not up to him to keep everyone safe.
I think this is an import
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-52-books
This was another wonderful story that I have read.

This is the story of Cooper - a boy with OCD (that seems to have been triggered from his grandfather's death, in my non-medical purely thinking of connections opinion) - who is struggling to protect his family and not mess things up.

While I have never had OCD - despite my siblings joking about it at times - I connect with Cooper (and his mother and his sister) so much. I connect with wanting to do anything to protect my family and I connect with
Kelsey Frost
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cooper is a boy who loves his frog Amicus the Great. He loves to read his book Inferno. He loves his mom and his sister, and maybe his Dad. Cooper doesn't always understand things like others do, he is literal, likes to do things in threes, and he worries about his family being harmed if he doesn't do these rituals.
This story never tells you that Cooper has a diagnosis of a disorder, but the parents are struggling to understand why Cooper acts like he does. It frustrates dad and Cooper, his old
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
that was trigger happy, people. but also super realistic and understanding? but also SO MANY TRIGGERS. if you have OCD or anxiety, beware.

i received an advance reader copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

it was really good and warm and i loved cooper, caddie and their mother. they were all trying so hard and cooper most of all to get over the death of grandfather and onset of mental illness in cooper and his father being not great at dealing with it and a summer at a cabin i
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a really interesting and timely read. I think there may well be a need for a story about a child who has OCD. Cooper is a boy kids could relate to, he's bright, intelligent, personable, but has some quirks. Everyone does really. His just stand out a bit more. I was thinking he reminded me a lot of kids and adults I've known who have varying degrees of autism. But I've also know folks with OCD. So maybe there is some crossover between the two of symptoms. Anyway, both children with OCD a ...more
Linda V
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 7-16-12-17
Thnk you Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for a fair review.

After witnessing his grandfather's death Cooper sinks into a world of guilt and fears. He is driven by OCD rituals in an effort to protect those he loves. Returning to his grandfather's summer cabin, the scene of his death, Cooper is forced to confront his fears. As he struggles to become the person he knows his family wants him to be, he desperately tries to break the OCD cycle and end his isolation. With great courage and the love o
Aimée Bissonette
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Michael Dahl pointed out in a recent article in eSchool News how reading fiction can increase compassion (and prevent bullying) by allowing kids to experience life through another person’s eyes. If that’s so, The Notations of Cooper Cameron is a must read for kids - AND teachers and parents. Cooper’s struggles would be completely heartbreaking if not for his own kind heart, his smarts, his resolute manner – and the bit of hope readers feel as the story wraps up. A beautiful, wrenching book by Ja ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I appreciate the objective with this narrative and I think it was a necessary and important voice. Wonderfully executed to give a perspective of an OCD child... however I'm not sure I fully loved the story as a whole. I definitely loved the characters (especially the main character) but there were several plot points that I don't really feel like were vital/ or fully developed. AND I HATE WHEN AN IMPORTANT PIECE IS LEFT IN MYSTERY!!!! just tell us what happened!!! that almost always immediately ...more
Aug 15, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF at 9%

I think I’m fatigued of middle grade, which is upsetting. But I just didn’t want to read a depressing story about a dead grandfather, a messed up little boy struggling with his mental health, and an unsupportive family. It’s depressing.

The Goldfish Boy is really really good, and I’d much rather read that. It seems similar, and I know I liked that one better even if I didn’t finish this.

I also didn’t like the repetition even though that’s Cooper’s whole thing. It’s just hard to read. So
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cooper Cameron has OCD and protects himself and his family by counting in three's and by washing. When his family goes back to the site of his beloved grandfather's death, Cooper is forced to confront many of his fears head-on. How he does so is remarkable.

This is a beautiful novel of empowerment and of not being afraid to be oneself while finding the courage to heal.

Thank you to Net Galley for an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loss is difficult at any age, but when you do all you can and it still isn't enough, how do you come to terms with that? Coop has one desire to keep his family safe. He worries about everything.. Cameron tries hard to keep "that boy" from embarrassing his mother and sister. He especially doesn't want to see his father get mad, but he isn't always able to control him. This is a beautifully written story of family, grief, loss and what it would be like to have OCD. ...more
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