Booklist (October 1, 2012 (Online))
Grades 4-6. Clueless and wimpy may not be exact synonyms, but it’s pretty clear that this effort, by an accomplished picture-book creator, is intended as a Jeff Kinney read-alike for ravenous middle-grade boys—and in that it’s successful. PJ McGee, the perpetually sans-clue protagonist, imagines himself a ninja-spy and writes chapter-long letters documenting his daily adventures to his absent father, who he believes is off on a secret mission, although world-wise readers may suspect otherwise. Nobody else sees PJ as being as cool as he does—not his needy sister, an evil bully, his annoyed mother, or the “frog-smacking” principal—but one day, the mac and cheese goes missing from the cafeteria, and he pitches in to help solve the mystery. There are many fifth-grade hurdles in his way, from extrasticky chewing gum to an extrasweaty band teacher, but all paths eventually lead to the culprit while leaving room for the next title in the new series. Similarities to other titles of this ilk include a handwriting-style font and black-and-white naïve-style line drawings on every page.