The Mystery of the Monster Movie

BOOK: The Mystery of the Monster Movie
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Table of Contents
Why would someone take a reel of film?
“They’re arguing about something up there,” Cam told Eric. “But I don’t know what they’re saying. Come on. Let’s go up there and listen.”
“How could you let something like this happen?” one man said. It sounded to Cam and Eric like the theater manager.
“I didn’t let anything happen,” another man said. “I showed the first reel, just as I always do. But when I looked for the second reel, it was gone.”
“Look at this mess. I’ve asked you to clean it up. It’s probably buried under all these coffee cups and newspapers.”
“It’s not buried anywhere. I put it right here on the table. I didn’t lose it. Someone took it.”
The Cam Jansen Adventure Series
To Sally Cipriano
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 The Viking Press, 1984
Published by Puffin Books, 1992
Reissued 1999
This edition published by Puffin Books,
a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2004
9 10
Text copyright © David A. Adler, 1984 Illustrations copyright © Susanna Natti, 1984
All rights reserved
eISBN : 978-1-101-07596-8
RL: 2.4

Chapter One
It was a cold winter Sunday afternoon. Cam Jansen and her friend Eric Shelton were waiting in line outside a movie theater. Cam’s parents were with them.
Cam’s eyes were closed.
“What’s the big headline on top of the movie posters?” Eric asked.
“That’s easy,” Cam said. “‘Monster Movie Month Continues. Now Showing—’ ”
“And what’s printed on the first poster?” Eric asked.
“Let’s see,” Cam said with her eyes still closed. “There’s a parade of giant brown, white, and black shoes.
‘Shoe Escape,’
it says. ‘Starring Joe Roberts, Angela Kane, and Robert Allen.’
“I can tell you what’s on the other poster, too,” Cam said. “And I can tell you what you’re wearing and that one of your shoe-laces is untied.”
Eric tied his shoelace as Cam opened her eyes. Cam has what people call a photographic memory. They mean that Cam’s mind takes a picture of whatever she sees. When Cam wants to remember something, even a detail like a name on a movie poster, she just looks at the picture stored in her brain.
“Do you know the last time I saw Shoe Escape?” Cam’s father asked. “It was one week before our wedding. It was really something.”
“Yes,” Cam’s mother said. “I wore a beautiful white gown. My hair was set in curls.”
“At the beginning of the movie,” Cam’s father said, “everything is quiet. Children just like you and Eric are going to school. Ordinary people, like your mother and me, are going to work. And they’re all wearing shoes.”
“I wore white shoes at our wedding,” Cam’s mother said.
“You know,” Cam’s father went on, “sometimes I see just ordinary people, like that woman with the red hat or that man over there with the cane, and I think that I saw them in
Shoe Escape.
That’s what’s so great about this movie. It’s about ordinary people and ordinary shoes.”
A light snow began to fall. Cam’s mother told Cam and Eric to close the top buttons on their coats.
“Cam, take a good look at me,” Eric said as he buttoned his coat. “I want to test your memory again. This time I bet I’ll stump you.”
“Cam remembers everything,” her mother said.
Cam took a few steps back and looked straight at Eric. She said,
and closed her eyes. Cam always says
when she wants to remember something. She says it’s the sound her mental camera makes when it takes a picture.
Cam’s real name is Jennifer Jansen. When she was younger, people called her “Red” because she has red hair. But when they found out about her amazing photographic memory, they began calling her “The Camera.” Soon “The Camera” was shortened to “Cam.”
“This time I tricked you,” Eric said. “I asked you to take a good look at me. If you did, you should have seen the posters right behind me, too.”
“I did.”
“How many spider legs are there on the second poster?”
The line started to move. But Cam just stood there. Her eyes were still closed.
“What are you doing?” Eric asked.
“I’m counting legs. There are five spiders on the poster and each has eight legs. That’s forty legs.” Cam opened her eyes. “Am I right?”
“Yes,” Eric said. “Now come on. Your parents are way ahead of us.”
Cam and Eric caught up with Cam’s parents at the ticket window.
“Two adults and two children,” Mrs. Jansen said. Then she passed some money through the window.
“How old are the children?” the ticket seller asked.
“They’re both ten.”
The ticket seller gave Cam’s mother two purple tickets, two green tickets, and some change. Then Cam, Eric, and Cam’s parents went into the theater.
The lobby was crowded and warm. A few people were standing and talking. Others were waiting in line to buy popcorn and soda.
“We can get food later,” Cam’s father said. “I want to get good seats. And I don’t want to miss anything.”
They went through the swinging doors and into the theater. Soft music was playing. People were sitting in many of the seats. Cam’s father found four empty seats near the front of the theater. Cam and Eric took off their coats and sat down. Then they looked up at the dark, blank screen and waited.
Chapter Two
Cam’s father turned and looked at the balcony and at the rest of the theater. “Look how crowded it is here!” he said. “And I’ll bet lots of these people saw Shoe Escape when it first came out. They want to see it again, just as I do.”
Cam tapped her mother on her shoulder and asked, “Can Eric and I get some popcorn?”
Mrs. Jansen gave Cam some money and said, “Get two buckets. One for you and Eric, and one for your father and me.”
BOOK: The Mystery of the Monster Movie
2.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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