My book review of 'Theodore Boone' by John Grisham

Theodore Boone

by John Grisham
Recommended age: 9+
Theodore Boone
by John Grisham

Theodore Boone is a 13-year-old boy who is fascinated by the legal system. The only child of two lawyers, he spends all his time finding out about crime, justice, the courts and the police. He is known in his community for being able to give ad hoc legal advice and the story is punctuated by examples of these occasions. But Theodore is most concerned with a high profile murder trial that is taking place in town. He sits in on the proceedings when he can and the outcome looks quite clear, but when Theodore comes to learn of evidence which could change everything completely, he has to decide what to do.

This is a simply presented story by the bestselling author of legal blockbusters such as 'The Firm' and 'Pelican Brief'. I think he may just be setting the scene here, and that subsequent tales about Theodore Boone will have a little more substance, but it is still an easy, enjoyable and unusual read. 

The style of writing would make this accessible to children aged 9+, and I don't think it's American context would prove a stumbling block to children today, but as Theodore advises on divorce, drunken behaviour and murder, perhaps the books will appeal more to older children. But there is nothing gritty about this book. It feels as though it is the author feeling his way with a new audience.

Review date: August 2011