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The Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #3)
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The Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones (Cam Jansen Mysteries #3)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,418 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
The Cam Jansen books are perfect for young readers who are making the transition to chapter books, and Cam is a spunky young heroine whom readers have loved for over two decades. Now the first ten books in the series have updated covers that bring new life to these perennial best-sellers. Old fans and new readers will love Cam's cool, modern look!
Paperback, 64 pages
Published September 1st 1984 by Penguin USA (first published April 27th 1980)
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Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
The original Cam Jansen series follows the exploits of 10-year-old 5th grader Jennifer "the Camera" (aka "Cam") Jansen and her best friend, classmate, and neighbor Eric Shelton. Cam got her nickname because of her photographic memory. All she has to do is say "Click," and Cam can remember everything she's seen, which comes in pretty handy when trying to solve mysteries.

David Adler has written several beginning chapter book series, but Cam Jansen is one of the earliest and most successful. He's b
Nov 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Cam Jansen realizes that three bones on a dinosaur model in a museum are missing and sets out to solve the mystery.

Ages 8-12

Cam Jansen's real first name is Jennifer, but her friends call her Cam because of her photographic memory. When she takes a mental picture, she says "click". In this story, part of a large series of mysteries, Cam and her friend Eric are touring a natural history museum. Cam remembers that one of the dinosaurs had more bones in its tail the last time she visited. The tour g
Robert Beveridge
David A. Adler, Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones (Scholastic, 1981)

Straightforward early-grade mystery that's about as complex as an Encyclopedia Brown story, but takes up a good deal more space; one wonders at the expansive real estate. Still, mystery novels for kids were not a huge commodity back in the eighties (before the term “chapter books” had come about to describe this category of kidlit), and as with any vertical-market application, authors could get away with more, whi
Greg Z
Jan 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
How to write a children's mystery series, lesson 3. 1) Don't be lazy and simply write, almost word for word, what you've already written. 2) Don't write about things a ten-year-old wouldn't do, like hide in a museum after the museum closes as most children would find that idea terrifying.. 3) And finally, do NOT have children ride bikes in the streets to follow a truck. So, rather, today's lesson is what NOT to do.
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robyn Droddy
Cute. I should not count this as one of my books for the year, but I'm going to anyway.
Jessica Miller
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book! The main characters, Cam and Eric, are friends who seem to get involved with a lot of mysteries together. Cam's name is actually Jennifer but they call her Cam, short for 'The Camera". She got this nickname because she takes pictures of everything with her mental camera and says "click" as she is taking these mental pictures. In this book, Cam and Eric go on a class field trip to the Kurt Daub Museum with their fifth grade class. They travel around the museum ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-re-read, 2015
Woohoo! It's only January 1st and I've already read a book!

Ok, I have to admit it's a chapter book and I've read it before (but not since 2nd grade). So, should it still count? Sure, why not?

I showed my 7 year old niece her mom's autographed(!) copy (the author visited our elementary school) and she asked if I could read it to her and, of course, I obliged.

Here are some thoughts while I read this out loud:
- This is the only book I read in the series, but Cam Jansen's red hair and signature "Cl
Laura Verret
Cam Jansen and her friend, Eric Shelton, are excited to be visiting the Kurt Daub Museum. It’s not their first trip there, but every trip is exciting – and the best part of all is the dinosaur exhibit! But as Cam studies the fossil of a Coelophysis, she realizes that something is wrong – some of the bones are missing!

Can Cam find the bones before they are used for some ill purpose?


Cam Jansen doesn’t used deductive reasoning to help her solve her cases. And she doesn’t spend all of her
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book, ya-juvenile
I remember reading one of the Cam Jansen books when I was younger but I cannot put my finger on it. More than likely it was this one but again my memory won't place it.

Anyway it is a basic and short read that will be great as a step-up book. There are a few words that may end up causing problems but with the dinosaur names at least there is a pronunciation guide for those who don't know them. Otherwise word-wise there shouldn't be much other problems.

There isn't much of a plot or background t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: children starting to read chapter books
This is a reread for us. Our girls picked this one out and I thought it would be worth a second read. We'd read the Cam Jansen Double Mystery #1 more than two years ago, and I was pretty sure our girls wouldn't remember the story. It's an entertaining story and I like that Cam and Eric solve the mystery; I don't like that they go off without parental supervision and put themselves in danger. Still, it's just a story and the drama adds to the enjoyment of the tale.

Overall, it's a fairly typical
Nancy Kotkin
Part of the Cam Jansen chapter book series featuring a fifth-grade girl with a "photographic" memory. These books are not whodunit type of mysteries, but each story contains a conundrum, which Cam's eidetic memory helps to solve. The protagonist and her bff are a bit old for a chapter book. The books in the series are all short, (less than 60 pgs each) quick reads. They can be read independently of one another, and are easily understood if read out of order. Published in the 1980s, the books are ...more
This story is about how Cam Jansen and her classmates visit a museum and she notices the dinosaur has missing bones! The book makes me feel adventurous and not afraid to ask questions while being smart about it. Cam has photographic memory which is why she is able to compare with an earlier “photograph” of the dinosaur skeleton and note that it had missing bones! Cam and her friend Eric follow the clues to finding out who/what was behind the missing bones. The theme of the book is following your ...more
Bethany Sutherland
Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones is a book about Cam, a girl who has photogenic memory, and her friend, Eric. Together they solve mysteries. This mystery was about missing dinosaur bones. Cam and Eric went on a field trip with their class and Cam noticed there were three missing bones from the last time she saw the dinosaur. She took it into her own hands to solve the mystery without the help of anyone besides Eric.

I liked this book because it is a mystery book. I remember when I
Lindsey Johnson
The Cam Jansen series is a great series for children taking the next step in learning to read. The sentences are short and simple enough for children to understand, and they have a good use of dialogue. I liked "The Mystery of Dinosaur Bones" because it provided a fun mystery that got me engaged and interested in figuring out the ending of the story. The mystery of the book will get students excited about reading and trying to figure out the mystery of who stole the dinosaur bones, and they will ...more
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book left me wanted more and more mystery. This plotline had much action and a thrilling series of events. I liked this book because Cam is a relatable character. I can see other children that I have never who are just like her. I think Cam would be a great role model for little children. She always does the right then and wants to help others. I would use this in a future classroom to talk about heroes. I think children should learn about heroes and what is right and wrong at a young age s ...more
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the second young reader chapter book series that I have introduced to my 3.5 year old. He's hooked! He keeps sitting down with the book and pretending to read it. He was able to comprehend the story and it kept him engaged throughout (we read it all in one sitting! ). Will be reading again and looking for more in this series.

I also remember Cam from my childhood and I remember now how much fun her adventures were!
Jennifer Danko
Jun 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
A fun adventure book for second grade students, this easy read will capture student’s attentions that are learning to read. The illustrations allow for further development of the imagination while reassuring the student they are reading correctly. Cam’s adventures test her friendship with Cam and her will to solve mysteries. Children between the ages of seven and ten will appreciate Cam’s need for adventure.
I used this as a read-aloud/readaloud with a small group of 2nd graders. As a group read, the story worked well and included a high-interest topic (dinosaurs) with in-text pronunciation help for dinosaur names, and some notes in cursive writing. The story led to some fun discussion about a variety of things, including fossils, plaster casting, photographic memory, dinosaurs, cursive versus print, and mystery as a genre.
Mar 26, 2009 rated it liked it
This little girl is a bit annoying, and has some whack friends who follow her blindly into danger just because she has a photographic memory. Her dad is always propping her up on a pedestal for having such a great memory when he should really be disciplining her for always snooping around in other people's business and trespassing. This book is alright though, it's got dinosaur bones in it.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was recently asked to make a list of ten books that made a long-standing impression on me. The Cam Jansen mysteries were on that list, so 25 years after reading them I decided to give one another try. Definitely not as thrilling now as when I was kid, but I'm still jealous of Cam's photographic memory and the fact that her best friend in school is a boy! :-)
Samantha Glasser
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've always loved mysteries, so when our class went to the library to check out some books and I saw this series on the shelf, I snapped them up one by one. I thought the concept of a girl with a photographic memory was so cool and imagined how I could use that skill in my own life. Unfortunately, I never developed that ability, but I remember these books fondly.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I learned that you should never pretend to be something you are not. I also learned that if you think someone seems suspicious, contact the police so they can check that person to make sure everything is ok.
Brittney Musick
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I was younger, this was one of my favorite series. Reading them now, they are pretty simplistic, but they were fun easy to read mysteries, and it's very enjoyable to share those same stories with my niece now.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dig-into-reading
Cam's third mystery has her and Eric looking for lost dinosaur bones after visiting the museum. Cam's photographic memory has them biking across town in search of the thief.

Share this with: When Dinosaurs came with everything by Elise Broach.
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
I always loved Cam Jansen books as a kid, and it was fun reading one again. I think for me she came after Nate the Great and before Encyclopedia Brown. I would definitely recommend this series to both boys and girls interested in mysteries.
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it
This was on a list of chapter books that supposedly encourage a love of reading in my young one's reading program. I read it to her a couple of chapters at a time. She was mildly interested. That is all.
May 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm in the process of reading all my collection of children's books. I'm undecided on how to rate the books..from an adult or child's I'm going to go with the adult viewpoint. Cam was just plain annoying and the "mystery" was silly.
oh my god! ever since i read this book many many years ago i have been captivated by the notion of a photographic memory, and i have attempted many a time to blink my eyes like cam to commit a scene to memory that i can file away and inspect later. wow, finding this on goodreads was a gem!
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Adler was born in New York City, New York. He graduated from Queens College in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in economics and education. For the next nine years, he worked as a mathematics teacher for the New York City Board of Education, while taking classes towards a master's degree in marketing, a degree he was awarded by New York University in 1971. In that same year, a question from his then- ...more
More about David A. Adler...

Other Books in the Series

Cam Jansen Mysteries (1 - 10 of 34 books)
  • The Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #1)
  • The Mystery of the UFO (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #2)
  • The Mystery of the Television Dog (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #4)
  • The Mystery of the Gold Coins (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #5)
  • Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #6)
  • The Mystery of the Circus Clown (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #7)
  • The Mystery of the Monster Movie (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #8)
  • The Mystery of the Carnival Prize (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #9)
  • The Mystery at the Monkey House (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #10)
  • The Mystery of the Stolen Corn Popper