The Mystery of the Stolen Corn Popper

Table of Contents
 
Someone is stealing shopping bags!
Cam and Eric moved aside as a man walked past. He was carrying a big pile of school supplies. And he was reading from a list. “Crayons,” he read, “not a big box, but not a small box. Tape, paste, and colored pipe cleaners.”
The man looked on the floor near the notebook tower. He walked around the tower and then stopped. “Someone took my shopping bag,” he said.
Cam looked at the man and said,
“Click.”
“Help! Help!” the man called. “Someone stole my shopping bag.”
The man dropped what he was carrying and said, “Now don’t anybody move until I get back that shopping bag.”
The Cam Jansen
Adventure
Series
#1 Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds
#2 Cam Jansen andthe Mystery of the U.F.O.
#3 Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones
#4 Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Television Dog
#5 Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Gold Coins
#6 Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball
#7 Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Circus Clown
#8 Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Monster Movie
#9 Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Carnival Prize
#10 Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Monkey House
#11 Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Corn Popper
#12 Cam Jansen and the Mystery of Flight 54
#13 Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Haunted House
#14 Cam Jansen and the Chocolate Fudge Mystery
#15 Cam Jansen and the Triceratops Pops Mystery
#16 Cam Jansen and the Ghostly Mystery
#17 Cam Jansen and the Scary Snake Mystery
#18 Cam Jansen and the Catnapping Mystery
#19 Cam Jansen and the Barking Treasure Mystery
#20 Cam Jansen and the Birthday Mystery
#21 Cam Jansen and the School Play Mystery
#22 Cam Jansen and the First Day of School Mystery
#23 Cam Jansen and the Tennis Trophy Mystery
#24 Cam Jansen and the Snowy Day Mystery
 
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE YOUNG CAM JANSEN
SERIES FOR YOUNGER READERS!
To Lydia Eeva and
Katherine Eliina
PUFFIN BOOKS
Published by Penguin Group
Penguin Young Readers Group,
345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
Penguin Books Australia Ltd, 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2
Penguin Books (N.Z.) Ltd, 182-190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand
First published in the United States of America by Viking Penguin Inc., 1986
Published by Puffin Books, 1992
Reissued, 1999, 2004
 
 
Text copyright © David A. Adler, 1986
Illustrations copyright © Susanna Natti, 1986
All rights reserved
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE 1992 PUFFIN EDITION AS FOLLOWS:
Adler,David A.
Cam Jansen and the mystery of the stolen corn popper / by David A. Adler;illustrated by
Susanna Natti.
p. cm.—(A Cam Jansen adventure; 11)
First published in the United States of America by Viking Penguin, Inc., 1986—T.p. verso.
Summary: Fifth-grade sleuth Cam Jansen uses her photographic memory
to catch a thief during a department store sale.
eISBN : 978-1-101-07593-7
[1. Mystery and detective stories.] I.Natti, Susanna, ill. II. Title.
III. Series: Adler,David A. Cam Jansen adventure; 11.
[PZ7.A2615Calt 1992] [Fic]—dc20 92-4791
 
 
RL: 2.4

http://us.penguingroup.com

Chapter One

D
on’t push. Don’t rush. There’s plenty for everyone,” a guard at the front of Binky’s Department Store called out.
A crowd of shoppers was trying to get into Binky’s. And shoppers carrying large, full, green Binky’s shopping bags were trying to get out. Cam Jansen and her friend Eric Shelton were a part of the crowd going in.
“Maybe we should come back tomorrow,” Eric said.
“We can’t come back,” Cam told him. “We need notebooks and other things for school.”
BINKY’S BACK-TO-SCHOOL SALE was written in large letters on a sign in the store window. SMART STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS BUY AT BINKY’S. Below it was a long list of things on sale.
It was late afternoon. Cam and Eric had just finished their first day of school. They were in the same fifth-grade class.
They squeezed through the front door. They walked down a wide aisle in the Household Helpers department. People were crowded around tables covered with aprons, pot holders, light bulbs, and can openers.
“Can you tell us where to find school supplies?” Eric asked a guard. The guard was wearing a bright green uniform.
“Walk straight down this aisle until you come to a big gumdrop display. They’re on sale, you know. Make a left turn after the gumdrops. Walk past chewing gum and taffy, and you’ll see a tower of notebooks. That’s School Supplies.”
Cam and Eric began to walk away.
“Oh, and don’t take a notebook from the bottom of the tower,” the guard said. “If you can’t reach the top, ask someone for help.”
Cam and Eric walked toward a table piled high with bags of gumdrops. People were crowded around the table. As Cam and Eric walked past the table, they heard a woman counting.
“Eleven, twelve, thirteen ...”
“I wonder what she’s counting,” Eric whispered to Cam.
“I’m counting red gumdrops,” the woman said. “They’re my favorites. Some packages have more than others.”
Cam and Eric turned left. They walked through the candy department, past the chewing gum and taffy.
“There’s the notebook tower. It’s not so high,” Cam said.
“But look at that long line of people waiting to pay for school supplies,” Eric said.
Eric reached into his shirt pocket. It was empty. He reached into both pockets of his pants. “Did you bring the list?” he asked Cam. “I left mine at home.”
“It’s right up here,” Cam said, and she pointed to her head.
Cam closed her eyes and said,
“Click.”
Cam always says
“Click”
when she wants to remember something. “It’s the sound a camera makes,” she explains to people who wonder why she says it so often. “And my mind is a mental camera.”
“We each need two notebooks,” Cam said, with her eyes still closed, “a memo pad, four pencils, a large eraser, two blue pens, a ruler, index cards, and a large box of colored paper clips.”
Adults say that Cam has a photographic memory. They mean that Cam remembers just about everything she sees. It’s as if she has photographs stored in her brain.
Cam’s real name is Jennifer Jansen. When she was very young, people called her “Red” because she has red hair. But when they found out about her amazing memory, they began calling her “The Camera.” Soon “The Camera” was shortened to “Cam.”
Cam opened her eyes. She and Eric took two notebooks from the top of the tower. Then they looked for memo pads.
“Excuse me,” someone said. “Sorry.”
Cam and Eric moved aside as a man walked past. He was carrying a big pile of school supplies. And he was reading from a list. “Crayons,” he read, “not a big box, but not a small box. Tape, paste, and colored pipe cleaners.”
The man looked on the floor near the notebook tower. He walked around the tower and then stopped. “Someone took my shopping bag,” he said.

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