Reviews for Clueless McGee and the Inflatable Pants

Booklist Reviews 2013 September #1
Fifth-grader PJ McGee writes more letters to his absent father, following Clueless McGee (2012). In the opening epistle, PJ reports that "not much has changed here since my last letter," and that also applies to the book's rambunctious characters and heavily illustrated first-person style. The latest mystery is a missing science fair trophy, and with plenty of suspects, it takes many mishaps (and some huge pants) for any semblance of serenity to return to PJ's principal, friends, and mother--and when at last it does, there is the added treat of a mini-comic book featuring a familiar-looking ninja. Mack will once again turn post-Pilkey reluctant boys into readers. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #1
PJ McGee, PI and secret ninja, gets everything wrong (again) in solving his second case. Mr. Prince the principal thinks fifth-grader PJ McGee spends too much time thinking about ninjas, so he suggests PJ attend "Rocket Science," a science club run by Mr. Bellum. PJ's none too keen until he learns the club will have a science fair and there will be a prize, a real metal trophy shaped like a rocket ship. PJ successfully knocks out his stiffest competition, Mr. Bellum's daughter Sara, and devises a sure-win project: a magnetic pickle. But when the trophy goes missing, and the key to its display case is found in PJ's stinky backpack (the pickle is getting riper by the day), PJ is disqualified. He's certain Sara is trying to frame him for a crime she committed, and he's committed to proving it despite the evidence. His sidekick, third-grader Dante, tries to help, but PJ's more ready to accept bumbling fourth-grader Benny's help. Can PJ crack the case, avoid boogers and impress his absent father? Maybe not, but he'll inspire giggles as he tries. Mack's frenetically whack-a-doodle second Clueless McGee title manages to meld mystery and humor in a tale told as much in cartoons as text. Rube Goldberg–ian calamities and grossness are neatly balanced by good intentions and a little friendship lesson. Even a frog-smacker can see this series has legs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-12) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 May

Gr 3-5--PJ McGee, would-be ninja and private eye, solves another mystery. Through letters written to his absent father (complete with clever cartoons), PJ tells a strange and humorous tale about a theft. His nemesis is Sara Bellum, who has won every school award and wants her lucky streak to continue by winning the science fair. When the first-place trophy goes missing, PJ is sure Sara has taken it. The inept detective covets the prize, so he sets out with the other two members of the Tae Kwon Do Club (aka the "Ninja Club") to solve the case. Before the trophy is found, there are many bizarre and fantastical skirmishes among the returning cast of characters, including the beleaguered principal, Mr. Prince. The high jinks are over-the-top; the hero has to deal with helium-filled pants, a magnetic pickle, and karate-chopping gloves made from his mother's oven mitts. This is a lighthearted, silly story that will have readers both smiling and rolling their eyes. Though the joke is always on poor PJ, he learns in the end who his real friends and supporters are-and that there are many of them. This title will be well-received by graduates of Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" series (Scholastic) and those who love Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" (Abrams) and Lincoln Peirce's "Big Nate" books (HarperCollins). It will also entice reluctant readers.--Tina Martin, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL

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