15 June 2010
By John Grisham
Published by Dutton Children's Books
a division of Penguin Young Readers Group
ARC courtesy of Penguin Group (Canada)
Theodore Boone is going to be the new hero for every young reader out there. He's smart, funny, studies hard, and dispenses legal advice to his schoolmates. Theo has picked up most of his legal knowledge from his parents (both of whom are lawyers) and from spending his free time hanging out at the courthouse chatting about legal cases with judges, lawyers, secretaries, and bailiffs.
Grisham has taken his legal expertise and given it all to this character - and it works. Theo doesn't come off as a 13-year-old know-it-all, but as someone who has a real interest in law and who genuinely likes to help his schoolmates. His legal limits are tested, however, when he is drawn into a murder trial after acquiring knowledge about the accused from a witness who is reluctant to come forward.
Using a clear and concise style to explain somewhat complicated American legal terminology to young readers, Grisham has hit the mark with a good mixture of drama, intrigue, and suspense.
This is the perfect book for young teens. Even the well-past-it teens will enjoy it. I happily await Theo's next case.