Review Blog

Oct 08 2010

Get A Grip, Cooper Jones by Sue Whiting

cover image

Walker, 2010. ISBN: 978 1 921 529 78 8
(Ages 12-14) Cooper Jones seems to have a fairly good life. He lives with his mother in Wangaroo Bay, a beach-side town, and swims everyday. Unfortunately for Cooper he has developed a phobia of swimming in the ocean and whilst he is a fantastic competition swimmer who trains everyday in the pool, his fear of the ocean has made him isolated from his surfer peers and a target for their bullying. Cooper's fear of the ocean is not the only issue in his life that he needs to overcome. Cooper doesn't know who is real father is, and his slightly eccentric uni-cycle riding mother seems to be not hurry to tell him. Some resolution to these problems comes to Cooper when his next door neighbour's niece comes to visit Wangaroo Bay for a few days. Abeba (or Abbie) is going through similar identity issues to Cooper as she is Ethiopian born and has recently been feuding with her adopted mother about her right to know her own birth heritage. Sharing similar quests, Cooper and Abeba immediately find solace in each other. The drama of their stories is sparked by an imposing threat to Wangaroo Bay by an approaching bush-fire.
Get a Grip, Cooper Jones
is a novel about teenagers over coming fears and exploring their personal identities. The desire for teenagers to desire knowledge to help them their personal identity is a common one and is entertainingly and simply explored in this novel. As a result, many teenagers will relate to the story of the characters in this book.
Adam Fitzgerald

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