PJ McGee is on the case when his autographed cowboy hat is stolen.
Woods Road Elementary fifth-grader PJ McGee is famous; he saved the principal and was in the newspaper. Why doesn’t anyone want his autograph? He practices signing (all over the walls of the house…in permanent marker). When he attempts to sell his John Hancock, he gets no buyers—but he does discover that the scribble on the back of his cowboy hat is an actual autograph from Junior McFiddle, singer of the superpopular country song “Love Pony.” PJ’s suddenly the center of attention again until his hat’s stolen. PJ is sure the mysterious Nasty Ned, who has been putting up posters around the school made from letters cut out of magazines, is behind this nefarious crime. His sidekick (and the actual brains behind their “detective” successes), third-grader Dante, isn’t. PJ makes a new hat…and that’s stolen too. He vows to track down the culprit so he can be just like his absent father, who’s on a “secret mission” in Nashville. Mack continues the frenetic adventures of the enthusiastically clueless PJ in this third heavily illustrated chapter book (Clueless McGee and the Inflatable Pants, 2013, etc.). Told in a series of comic-strip–filled letters to his father, PJ’s tale is again a mix of slapstick grossness and silly naïveté, with a surprising sprinkle of complex humor.
Big Nate and Wimpy Kid fans will be right at home. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-11)