A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book is a tamer version of Grisham’s adult novels. The central murder is described without excessive violence or detail, and there's no bad language or sex. The story delves into social issues such as homelessness and illegal immigrants. Theo sometimes breaks rules such as hacking into computer systems to help solve crimes, but he is generally driven by his interest in seeing justice served. He is surrounded by positive adult role models and knows when to ask adults for help.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Thirteen year-old Theodore Boone gives legal advice to friends at school. He gets in over his head, though, when an illegal immigrant who has witnessed a murder seeks his help. Theo uses his great knowledge of the legal system -- and a little help from his lawyer parents -- to see that justice is done.
Is it any good?
This plot-driven novel hits a few dry spots along the way, but the author manages to weave in some legal basics and kids interested in the law will appreciate the Courtroom 101. Although Theo can be a little too good to be real at times, he is confronted with some tough moral conflicts that will give teen readers plenty to consider. In the end, the author has created an engaging enough premise to keep tweens looking forward to the next installment of the series, Theodore Boone: The Abduction.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the appeal of this book, which is now a series. Do you think it would have been so well received if it was written by a lesser-known author? This author usually writes for adults; what do you think he had to do differently here?
What do you think about Theo's methods for solving crimes? Is it OK to hack into computer records if that's what it takes to see that justice is done?
For kids who love mystery and suspense
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