A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
Tweens get the message that our legal system works -- and Theo works hard to make sure that justice is served.
Positive Role Models
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 & Scariness
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.