247. Cam Jansen and the Birthday Mystery by David A. Adler

Cam Jansen and the Birthday Mystery by David A. Adler. Illustrated by Susanna Natti  (US) - (Canada)
Cam Jansen Mystery, #20

Pages: 58
Ages: 7+
Finished: Sep. 10, 2012
First Published: 2000
Publisher: Puffin Books
Genre: children, mystery, theft, grandparents
Rating: 4/5

First sentence: "Quack! Quack!"

Publisher's Summary: "Not only does Cam Jansen have a birthday mystery to solve...she has one to celebrate! The Cam Jansen series marks its twentieth year with the twentieth book featuring Cam Jansen and her photographic memory. When Cam's grandparents are robbed on their way to a surprise birthday party, Cam puts her memory to work to solve the mystery. The clue is in the story--try to find it before Cam does!"

Acquired: Purchased a used copy from the library discards/for sale table.

Reason for Reading: My son read this aloud to me and we've read the second book in the series.  This book is just a bit too hard for him so I need to help frequently and now and then take over reading a page but he's doing quite well, we are going to do more in this series as he likes it quite well and it will be an indicator of his improvement when he can read them without (much) struggle.

This is a fun, intelligent mystery for younger kids.  The clues are there.  Cam has used her photographic memory once again to picture the scene but she's not a know-it-all and isn't sure how to piece it all together so it makes sense.  The kids' never go off into dangerous territory without the required adult present: the father, a police officer, etc.  Nothing silly here but the dialogue is light-hearted and the family and friends have fun even amidst the discomfort of having their luggage and gifts stolen.  Well-written mystery series for beginning chapter book readers and early fans of the genre.


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