Tricia Murin

Joshua Byers/The Tribune-Democrat

Central Cambria Assistant Superintendent Tricia Murin holds up her two children’s books, “If You’re Bothered and You Know It,” published in 2007, and “A-Z fpr OCD,” published in 2020.

Tricia Murin, the assistant superintendent of Central Cambria School District, has published her second children’s book, this one focusing on obsessive compulsive disorder.

“I just wanted to help the kids,” she said.

The new book is titled “A-Z for OCD.” The educator used her background as a guidance counselor to provide a framework for managing the disorder. However, Murin noted that the book isn’t a treatment.

“A-Z for OCD” is an alphabet-based guide to improving habits such as thinking positively, celebrating success and being kind to yourself.

Murin said her books are written to help children work through some of the issues they many have – in this case, replacing irrational thoughts with rational thinking.

Her first story, “If You’re Bothered and You Know It,” published in 2007, provides tips for students who are dealing with bothersome behavior from others. It stemmed from bullying curricula being taught at that time.

That book was illustrated by artist Brian Dumm, and illustrations for the newest publication were done by Central Cambria graduate Sam Elkin. Murin said she thought of partnering with the former student because Elkin is friends with her daughter and she knew Elkin studied graphic design at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Murin approached Elkin in 2018 and she happily agreed to work together.

“It was very informative and opened my eyes to a lot of things,” Elkin said.

“A-Z for OCD” was her introduction into the world of book illustration. Elkin said she put a lot of thought into how she designed the drawings and what might “set off” a child with OCD.

“I really tried to walk in the shoes of the children,” she added.

Murin considered the partnership a positive endeavor. She said Elkin performed exceptionally and she was glad to work with her. The artist agreed, stating that Murin was hands-off and gave her a lot of room to work.

“A-Z for OCD” and “If You’re Bothered and You Know It” can be purchased from the publisher’s website,, and at Follow Your Art in Ebensburg.

Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.

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