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YOUNG CAM JANSEN AND THE LIBRARY MYSTERY by David A. Adler

YOUNG CAM JANSEN AND THE LIBRARY MYSTERY

By David A. Adler (Author) , Susanna Natti (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-670-89281-5
Publisher: Viking

It’s a long shot, but Adler takes a stab at turning a mystery on the slender hope of a shopping list. Can it be done? Not in this effort, the seventh in the Young Cam Jansen, early reading series. Cam—that’s short for Camera, that’s short for her photographic memory—helps her dad locate a shopping list he has misplaced. But most of this story is spent introducing readers—likely for the umpteenth time—to Cam, her rare talent, and her display of that talent by repeating verbatim a book she read some time back. Natti’s artwork, which provides welcome relief from the stilted prose, also provides a clue to the missing document and gives the effort its most obvious appeal. Indeed, a visual-memory game has been tacked into the endpapers and is quite fun. Which can’t be said for the story, where anything at all could be substituted for the shopping list—why not a laundry ticket, which is right up there with shopping lists in the fascination department?—serving to underscore the arbitrariness and tedium of the whole endeavor. (Easy reader. 6-8)