This is the second Cam Jansen book I've bought for my second grade daughter. I've looked for books with good female characters, and Cam is definitely that: she's smart, observant, confident. These books are light, but that's exactly what I'm looking for for my young tween reader. There's no sass, no snarky, no attitude and certainly nothing inappropriate for the 7-10 year old crowd. Just a fun mystery that sets up and resolves like a fun episode of Scoobie Do.
My daughter is a good reader and these chapter books are the perfect size for her. The chapters are the right length for finding a stopping place at bedtime. She can finish a book in a night or three of reading. The characters and story arcs are not complicated, allowing her to remember the story arc and the clues as she's reading. I find with my daughter that "reading" and "comprehension" don't always go hand in hand, but with the Cam books she seems to be able to pick up the big clues and big cues of the story and can give me an update of the last couple chapters she's just read. The mystery format of the book lends itself to her holding the pieces together in her head while she reads.
Oh, and one thing I think is very important - I call it the read-aloud-ability factor. The two Cam books that I've read with my daughter score very high for me in being able to read them aloud to her (or her to me). There are just some chapter books that do not lend themselves to being read aloud with your kiddo. The word choices, sentence structure, whatever it is just doesn't let the story flow when reading aloud. Cam just seems to work well read aloud. This is a good thing, because though my daughter is an independent reader, I still enjoy reading aloud or listening to her read at bedtimes.
All in all am very pleased with the Cam books. I'll be buying many more, just working my way down the line. I also like that they're available for Kindle, as they're fun to have on the go for long trips.