A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that David A. Adler's Cam Jansen series is a collection of lighthearted mysteries for readers just starting to enjoy longer chapter books. Fifth-grader Cam and her friend Eric use the clues around them to sleuth and solve, and to help people. The focus is on solving crimes, and no one in the books cares about the perpetrators or why they are such scoundrels. These formulaic books have simple sentences without challenging vocabulary, and are all about Cam Jansen and her amazing memory having fun while solving mysteries.
What's the story?
In the CAM JANSEN series, fifth-grader Cam puts her photographic memory to good use, solving mysteries with her best friend Eric. Both kids are willing to stop what they're doing to help out, whether it's finding valuable autographs that are missing, stopping a department store thief, or figuring out what a ghost is up to or why only certain people win a carnival coin toss. The stories are full of happy, helpful people in a small community, and after Cam and Eric solve each mystery, the police are called to arrest the suspect and the kids are rewarded.
Is it any good?
These stories are formulaic but fun and teach patience and logic. There are tons of clues along the way, and the pages are packed with details that may or may not be necessary to solve to mystery, which can make the stories a little muddled. While neither the sentences structure nor the vocabulary will stretch competent readers of chapter books, early readers will enjoy seeing Cam and Eric have fun with their families and friends, and encountering mysteries while doing normal things like going to basketball games and buying school supplies. This might might inspire young readers to be more attentive when they do the same.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how aware Cam Jansen is of her surroundings. Why is that important in everyday life?
Would it be hard not to be able to ignore your powers of observation, or do you think you'd enjoy being that aware all the time?
What other mystery series do you like and why?
- Author: David A. Adler
- Illustrator: Susanna Natti
- Genre: Mystery
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Puffin Books
- Publication date: July 22, 2004
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 7 - 10
- Number of pages: 58
- Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love mysteries and early reader books
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.