Clueless McGee

( 4 )

Overview

Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Encyclopedia Brown!

Clueless McGee is just your average fifth-grader: snarky, awkward, and a magnet for trouble. The only difference: he's also an amateur detective. Determined to make his absent father proud, he uses the skills he's learned playing video games to solve mysteries. Only he's no Sherlock Holmes. Or Encyclopedia Brown. Or even Scooby-Doo. When the school bully is framed for filling the orchestra teacher's tuba with macaroni and cheese, ...

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Overview

Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Encyclopedia Brown!

Clueless McGee is just your average fifth-grader: snarky, awkward, and a magnet for trouble. The only difference: he's also an amateur detective. Determined to make his absent father proud, he uses the skills he's learned playing video games to solve mysteries. Only he's no Sherlock Holmes. Or Encyclopedia Brown. Or even Scooby-Doo. When the school bully is framed for filling the orchestra teacher's tuba with macaroni and cheese, Clueless is on the case. But can he catch the culprit before he strikes again? His only obstacle, as Jeff Mack shows us in his hilarious new illustrated series, is his own ineptitude . . . questionable talent . . . and limited intelligence. No problem!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Author/illustrator Mack (Frog and Fly) moves into middle-grade territory with an illustrated diary-style offering à la Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Big Nate. The story of hapless would-be detective P.J. McGee unfolds through letters the fifth-grader writes to his father, who P.J. believes is a private eye away on a secret mission. P.J.’s father’s absence (which goes unexplained in this series kickoff, though P.J.’s mother doesn’t seem too happy about it) adds a poignant note to what’s otherwise a slapstick story. When a tray of macaroni and cheese goes missing from the school cafeteria, P.J. takes the case (not that anyone asked). Along the way, P.J. gets gum stuck to his head (multiple times), the principal winds up covered in said mac and cheese (multiple times), and the janitor gets stuck in a bucket (twice), among other recurring gags and pratfalls. The repetition gets old, and readers don’t get much of a sense of the supporting cast, though Mack’s wonderfully kidlike cartoons really embody P.J.’s rambunctiousness, enthusiasm, and—yes—cluelessness. Ages 8–10. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Sarah Raymond
Poor PJ really is a clueless fellow, but this only adds humor to the tale that he tells. PJ a fifth grader writes daily letters to his father "a secret spy" and fills them with complimentary illustrations about his life at home. All is well until Mrs. Browny's famous macaroni and cheese goes missing. Since he is a spy in training and has mastered the super ninja moves, he takes it upon himself, along with his friend Dante, to find the missing macaroni and cheese. As PJ looks for clues to the missing mac and cheese, he runs into one mishap after another. All signs point to the classroom bully as the culprit even though he claims he is innocent. In the end PJ or rather Dante solves the mystery of the missing macaroni and cheese and all is finally at peace in PJ's world. Mack has created a hilarious story with a protagonist that many young boys can connect with and relate to. His simple but humorous illustrations add to the story line and understanding of PJ's character and daily dilemmas. Reviewer: Sarah Raymond
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Fifth-grader P.J. McGee's father is a private eye who travels a lot; through a series of hilarious handwritten and illustrated letters to him, P.J. relates his adventures at school and at home. The boy fancies himself a private eye (and a ninja), so when the ever-popular mac and cheese goes missing from the cafeteria, he appoints himself to the case. His outlandish quest to find the bandit entails shrinking the principal's suit in the dryer, getting locked in the janitor's closet, and having more than one run-in with paint and chewed gum. Despite often finding himself the accidental victim, particularly in situations involving his teacher, the principal, and the school nurse, P.J. manages to succeed in catching the thief, much to his classmates' glee. P.J.'s goofy, good-natured personality shines throughout the book. "Wimpy Kid" fans will be thrilled to find this book on the shelf.—Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Listen up frog-smackers, PJ McGee is ready to solve any mystery! Fifth-grader PJ McGee wants to be a private detective like his father, who is away on a SECRET MISSION (or at least that's what PJ thinks). PJ knows he'll make a great detective because he has been studying ninja moves; plus, he's incredibly brave, amazingly fast and has a brain five times as big as normal. When PJ's favorite school lunch (mac and cheese…he's written a love song to lunch lady Mrs. Browny's cheesy mac) turns up missing, PI PJ is on the case with his trusty sidekick, third-grader Dante. PJ follows the clues (even though he is sure school bully Jack B is the culprit). Then Jack hires PJ to clear his name! Only a super detective like PJ could solve such a sticky case. Illustrator Mack's first foray into the cartoon-driven chapter book will be well received by the clueless and the clue-full alike. Each chapter's a letter from PJ to his absent father detailing progress on the mac-and-cheese case. PJ is charmingly out of touch with reality. His supporting cast--needy little sister, long-suffering mother, mysteriously absent father and a quirky collection of teachers--adds to the laughs. The scribbly cartoons and illustrations are part of the tale and parcel of the fun. Happily, returns to Woods Road Elementary are assured, thanks to the big "1" on the spine. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399257490
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 8/16/2012
  • Series: Clueless McGee Series , #1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 306,793
  • Age range: 8 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Mack lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts, where he writes, paints, and is a frequent visitor to schools.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 20, 2012

    J McGee thinks he¿s a detective, ninja and a spy just like his d

    J McGee thinks he’s a detective, ninja and a spy just like his dad…only he’s not. In fact, PJ is kind of a disaster, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to solve the mystery of the stolen Mac’n'Cheese! The school’s most favorite lunch is missing and PJ decides he (along with his friend Dante) is the guy to find out who did it! After searching for clues, and making a few mistakes… OK, not a few, he pretty much messed everything up. PJ is sure he knows who stole the Mac’n'Cheese, but then that person hired him to clear his name. Is PJ wrong? Probably. After annoying the entire school and getting into all sorts of trouble, PJ is still clueless!

    This was a VERY funny book. It was a quick read but it was enjoyable. There wasn’t any message or lesson to the story, it was just fun. The illustrations that Mr. Mack created really made the story. PJ was a very funny character I liked how he was so…clueless. I thought that how the story was told was very unique. PJ tells the story through letters he writes to his dad. PJ thinks his dad is on some super secret spy mission only the reader doesn’t know where he really is.I wonder if we will find out in the next book. Fans of Big Nate and the Wimpy Kid series will really like this book. I also think kids 8+ would like this book!
    **NOTE I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    He came to my school today

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    Awesome

    This book is funny, so buy it

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    The sample

    The sample is absolute poo. I doesnt even reach the dedication! It on gives you 5 pages. :(

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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