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Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer Hardcover – May 25, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6–8— While the ending may be anticlimactic, Grisham brings to his crossover bid the lapidary prose and frank insider's view of this country's legal system that makes his adult best sellers so absorbing. Only 13 but already so much a lawyer in his own mind that he keeps an "office" at home and dispenses legal advice to classmates and even adults, Theo finds himself in over his head when he's told in strict confidence that there's an eyewitness to a high-profile local murder whose perp is about to walk due to lack of evidence. That witness is an illegal immigrant, and so is understandably afraid of coming forward. What to do? Grisham injects occasional side remarks into the narrative (students in Theo's school are gender-separated "according to a new policy adopted by the smart people in charge of educating all the children in town,") and he embroiders Theo's dilemma with intriguing public and behind-the-scenes looks at courts, lawyers, and the realities of the judicial process. He also sets up the plot to move in ominous directions in future episodes—which partly, at least, compensates for leaving the murder trial unresolved at the end of this one. Expect heavy publicity-driven demand.
John Peters, New York Public Library
After years of taking on lawyers of the adult persuasion, best-selling writer Grisham turns to a lawyer who's only 13. Well, Theo Boone hasn't taken the bar, but he offers advice to his friends, hangs out at the courthouse, and watches Perry Mason reruns. Things turn serious, however, when a witness to a murder, a young illegal immigrant, comes to Theo with evidence. The trial is in full swing, and it looks like the defendant will walk unless Theo comes forward. But he's promised the young man he will keep his identity confidential. What should he do? Grisham doesn't have the whole writing-for-kids thing down quite yet. His style, a little stiff, sometimes seems as if it's written for an earlier era. In one howler, he introduces Theo's teacher: “He always addressed them as ‘men' and for thirteen-year-olds there was no greater compliment.” The moral dilemma Grisham poses is interesting, but when Theo (logically) calls in the adults, it loses tension. Problem-solver Theo sometimes seems like a sophisticated Encylopedia Brown, and as with the boy detective, expect to see more of him. Grades 6-8. --Ilene Cooper
Top customer reviews
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The Theodore Boone series has totally inspired him! He LOVES these John Grisham books for younger readers!!! After school today he visited his dad's office and decided to set up a desk and hang out a shingle. Check out the picture---see one if the books on the corner or the credenza.
When one of the legal assistants asked my son to tell her about his clients he replied, "I cannot share my client's confidential information!" We think he's off to a great start.
He also wants his schools to create a debate team. 😊
His parents, too, are far from perfect, as is the highlight (for me) of the book - Uncle Ike. That dude has SERIOUS ISSUES but we love him just the same.
This book is FUN! Even though it is obviously aimed at the younger (teen?) reader, THEODORE BOON is a great introduction to the legal thriller as well as a way of making enquiring young minds think of life after the school years end. John Grisham's writing style has always been an easy one to pick up; he writes in the common, down to earth way that makes his books a joy to read. This concept is extrapolated for the younger market and it works a treat in this book.
Negatively speaking, I think the plot itself is the weak link in this story. Basing the complete book around a murder trial is normally a safe bet, but this case is a little feeble, and a boring one at that. There are, however, hints of suspense scattered throughout the story whenever Theo comes up against Omar Cheepe and I imagine he will have a role to play as we approach the end of the book.
I give this book three stars, but in actuality (your Honour) it is more like three and a half.
Most recent customer reviews
It is a very clever story.
Looking forward to reading Theodore Boone 2