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Summary: Cam Jansen has a photographic memory. She can close her eyes and take a mental picture of what is in front of her. In this mystery, Cam and her friends are at the library with her Dad. From there, they all head to the grocery store. When Cam’s Dad reaches into his pocket for the shopping list, it isn’t there. Cam helps him retrace his steps and pictures each of the places they have been in. Can she really help him find it? This is an easy reader introduction to the Cam Jansen mystery series.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, learning to read, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 5 to 8
Age of Child: Read with a 5-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: My daughter picked this book and loved it. She is learning to read, and this was fun for her. She likes how Cam can remember things and solve problems. She could relate to the story in the library, because we go every week. She liked how the Dad was sitting there reading and letting them look around.
Adult Reader Reaction: I was surprised that even though she knew how the mystery was solved she still wanted to read the story again and again. I enjoyed the pictures, the fun mystery, and how it showed cooperation by her family and friends.
Pros: This is a fun, wholesome mystery for young readers.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a great introduction to the series, but as an easy reader, it will not have the staying power of the other books.
Educational Themes: Although this is an easy reader, there is a good story, too. Themes you can draw out include: the value of being observant, independent problem solving (kids can retrace their steps, too), as well as the value of helping others and being kind to those who have made a mistake.
Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: March 2009
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