COOPER JONES wishes his life was simple –
like it used to be. When all he needed to worry
about was whether to get up for swim training
or sleep in.

Suddenly, his life’s become complicated.
Cooper can’t stop thinking about his dad –
a man he has never known – and now
Mum’s starting to act weird too.
When the gorgeous Abbie arrives in town,
Cooper realises that he’s not the only one
whose life is complicated.

With tensions growing and bushfires threatening,
Cooper needs to get a grip – fast.

Novel for ages 10 – 14
Walker Books Australia
ISBN 978-1-921529-78-8

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“A boy’s search for his identity, while adjusting to the changes in his life, is brilliantly brought into focus by the frightening power of an Australian bushfire. Whiting has taken the angst of growing up and enveloped it in the scent of sea salt, barbecued fish and burning eucalypts …” Four Stars, Good Reading Magazine, Nov 2010

“… the setting and the likeable characters make Get a Grip, Cooper Jones a quality read for ages 10+. It is spot-on in the pitfalls of growing up, and also touches on a variety of topics that will encourage the reader to ponder life outside their own Wangaroo Bay.” Magpies Magazine, September 2010

“Authentic, clever and entertaining; this one is a winner for readers of any age.” The West Australian

“Sue Whiting has deftly captured the looks, sounds, and smells of an Australian summer. Also, she has successfully adopted quite a stream of consciousness narrative style. It takes the reader along with Cooper as exciting events unfold. There is so much to recommend in this story.” Reading Time Magazine

“Sue Whiting’s novel has engaging characters and a strong sense of place. The coastal town where Cooper lives is well drawn, including the bushfires that rage in the neighbouring towns during the scorching summer days. This book is recommended for junior readers.” Australian Bookseller & Publisher magazine 
(August 2010, Vol 90, No. 1)

“When a story makes you cry, you know that it has touched you on a deep emotional level. Get A Grip, Cooper Jones, is Sue Whiting’s latest book for children and when I was reading it, I found myself both laughing and crying.” Dee White, Kids’ Book Capers 

“Get a Grip, Cooper Jones touches on the themes of friendship, family, adoption and identity. It is humorous and a thoroughly enjoyable read. The freshness of the story will resonate with Australian teenagers.” Val Mancini (WA)



2011 CBCA Notable Book, Younger Readers.

NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge list, Years 5-6 and Years 7-8

Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge List, Years 5-6 and Years 7-8