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It's hard enough to find a good chapter book mystery that one isn't inclined to quibble or criticize when a series as good as the Cam Jansen series comes along. Some kids really like Cam as a character, and some don't really warm up to her. Either way, though, she's certainly worth a try, and kids who are mystery crazy seem willing to go along with Cam as the central character even if they don't bond with her.
The mysteries have some thought to them, and this book is a good example of how they are put together. Based on keen observation, which plays along with Cam's photographic memory, the solutions turn on details and paying attention, which is a pretty nice way to describe mystery stories in general and a pretty nice subtle message within the book.
So, maybe Cam will be a huge hit in your house, maybe just O.K., but in any event I'd want to have one around. It does appear that books can be read out of order.
You have to love Cam Jansen. When you're a kid, you read all of these stories about magic powers, mystery, and adventure. But everyone tells you magic can't exist. Cam Jansen manages to solve every case without the use of magic... she's a real girl. That's what makes her special and what makes you want to read more and more. She lives her life and has friends just like everyone else. Cam Jansen is a real kid superhero, and the thought that a person like her could actually exist... makes her the best kid detective ever! Kids can really associate themselves with Cam and her friends. Our family loves Cam Jansen!