September 27, 2017

Ice Cream, Books and Hope: Macky Reads The Notations of Cooper Cameron

The Notations of Cooper Cameron book cover
Meet Cooper Cameron, a very gifted young boy doing his best to cope with the recent loss of his grandfather. He hasn’t been the same since the incident, and that has added to whatever friction already exists between most members of his family. In a bit to diffuse it all, his mother decides to take him and his sister up to their grandfather’s cabin for a couple of months and then some in a last-ditch effort to put their grief and all the aftermath behind them. 

This isn’t a light middle grade read. It’s deep, albeit told from the viewpoint of a very young boy, whose innocent yet highly intelligent take on the world frames his universe in such a compelling way. 

The blurb on the book says Cooper is a unique and unforgettable character. I’m inclined to agree 100%. The whole story is told from his POV and thus his logic, his extreme quirks and unique conclusions, all of which he scribbles religiously onto some very carefully curated notebooks... a habit rivaled only by his voracious appetite for books. He’s young, but he’s encountered some very real things. And he is coping the way most of us do. But what makes this book a treat is that the way he responds to his life and his grief creates such a deep resonance and nostalgia. It’s almost like he’s articulating every simple yet difficult thought we’ve all had as kids. 

Finally, Cooper’s sojourn, the people he meets in the time spent at the cabin, reinforces the simple fact that being around “your people”, folks who enlarge your life, helps heal the heart. We were never meant to go it alone as a species. This book helps remind us that part of the magic of life is that finding the right people doesn’t just help us through the rough times but enlarges our worlds both inside and out.

Jane O’Reilly has written a well-crafted masterpiece that will both touch the world and yet heal her own. This book may have been written for her sister, but it’s for anyone who spends time far out of reach from any kind of rescue, but somehow makes their way to a place where they can be found. I wouldn’t be surprised if this book gets an award someday. Either way, it moved me quite deeply. It’s going on my top shelf for sure!

The Notations of Cooper Cameron comes out October 1, so be sure to grab a copy.

Publisher: CarolRhoda Books | Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Source: ARC received at BEA (Thanks!)


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