The Notations of Cooper Cameron

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 5
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

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 behavior drives a wedge between his parents, and his relationship with his older sister, Caddie, begins to fray, his mother’s only solution is to take Cooper and Caddie to the family cabin for the summer.

Armed with a collection of rocks, his pet frog, and his notebook, Cooper vows to cure himself and bring his damaged family back together.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 5
Reading Level Grade 3
Category Diverse Books: Mental Health & Neurodiversity, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2017
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 320
Publication Date 2017-10-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV039240, JUV013000, JUV039150
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.25 x 7.5
Lexile 450
Guided Reading Level W
ATOS Reading Level 3.5
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 190657
Accelerated Reader® Points 8.0
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews


  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2018
  • ILA Children's and Young Adult Book Award Intermediate Fiction Honor, Commended, 2018
  • Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Books of the Year, Winner, 2017


The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“O’Reilly’s rhythmic prose is evocative in its cadence and repetition, giving Cooper’s struggle against his compulsions a poignant immediacy . . .”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Booklist Online

“[T]akes readers into the mind of a character affected by OCD. . . . [A] perceptive character study within a quiet, involving novel.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“[A] nuanced and empowering narrative that uplifts rather than undermines Cooper’s unique perspective on his world. . . . Intricate, meticulous, unforgettable.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

“An unforgettable, much-needed story; a strong purchase for all collections.”—starred, School Library Journal

Kurtis Scaletta

“Cooper Cameron is a unique and unforgettable character, a boy who sees the beauty in bugs and the heroism in frogs.”—Kurtis Scaletta, author of Mudville and Rooting for Rafael Rosales

Author: Jane O'Reilly

Jane O'Reilly is the author of the acclaimed middle grade novels, The Secret of Goldenrod and The Notations of Cooper Cameron. She is the recipient of a McKnight Fellowship in Screenwriting and also holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. The youngest of five children, she grew up in an old house, enjoyed her early summers traveling the USA and Mexico on family road trips, and spent her teenage summers in the North Woods at the cabin her grandfather built. Curious about nearly everything, Jane and her stories are inspired by small towns, old houses and the universal need for hope. Although born and raised in Minnesota, Jane and her husband, John, and dog, Poppy, now call Des Moines, Iowa, home.