Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer

Book review by
Barbara Lawrence, Common Sense Media
Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Series starter about teen lawyer teaches Courtroom 101.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Grisham manages to weave in some Courtroom 101, giving his story extra appeal to tweens interested in the legal system and specifics of courtroom procedure.

Positive Messages

Tweens get the message that our legal system works -- and Theo works hard to make sure that justice is served.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Theo Boone uses his knowledge of the law to help both schoolmates and the police. Theo’s mom and dad are both supportive parents and honest lawyers. The judge in the trial is good and fair.

Violence

The central story involves a husband charged with strangling his wife. The murder is described after the fact in court and not in great detail.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Uncle Ike, the black sheep of the family, drinks and wakes up with hangovers. His behavior certainly isn't celebrated.  Theo's mother only drinks coffee for breakfast to lose weight.

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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byshanerocks May 5, 2012

I L-O-V-E this book!

This book and the abduction are two of my favorites! Denfinetely worth reading!
Teen, 14 years old Written byGoldfish May 2, 2015

Rubbish

I admit, I enjoyed the legal side of the story a fair amount, but that's where my list of praises ends. Here's my list of criticisms: the vocabulary i... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old July 1, 2020

Excellentè

It is a great book. Good for kids interested in mysteries and the law. Some parts are a lil' bit dull, but the ending is hecka suspensful. A must read

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?

Book details

  • Author: John Grisham
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Puffin Books
  • Publication date: May 25, 2010
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
  • Number of pages: 263
  • Last updated: September 26, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mystery and suspense

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