Cam Jansen is a grade 5 girl with a photographic memory. Her real name is actually Jennifer, but all her friends call her Cam, short for Camera, because of the clicking sound she makes as she takes mental photographs of people and places. She uses this photgraphic memory in a series of detective novels with the seventh one being The Mystery of the Circus Clown.
Cam is at a circus with her friend Eric and Aunt Molly. Aunt Molly realizes her wallet has been taken out of her hand bag when she wants to buy ice cream for the children. It just so happens that Cam took a mental picture of the exact moment when the wallet when missing. Now it is up to Cam and Eric to find the thief.
Considering the children are in grade 5, I imagine the book is intended for grade 5ers but really, it shouldn’t be. The reading level of this book should be grade 3 and possibly grade 4. The vocabulary is basic and the sentences are short and choppy. I can already imagine what some of the comprehension questions would look like if this The Myster of the Circus Clown was a novel study book; none of the questions would involve any inferences except maybe “what do you think happened to Aunt Molly’s wallet?” right at the very beginning. A lot of the students would probably be able to guess.
As far as mystery novels go, this one was pretty weak in my opinion. I would definitely not recommend collecting the entire series of 31 books. 31. Wow!! I guess they appeal to certain people.