Theodore Boone: The Abduction

Book review by
Barbara Lawrence, Common Sense Media
Theodore Boone: The Abduction Book Poster Image
More mature themes in second entry of popular series.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 11+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Theo’s skills as a boy-sleuth shine in this book. He searches for his missing friend using deduction, logic, and even Facebook. 

Positive Messages

There is a strong message about community and the importance of working together to save someone. Theo once again illustrates doing what's right, and April's parents ultimately learn to put the needs of their daughter before their own.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The entire middle school pulls together to help find a missing classmate. Though Theo is not always completely truthful when talking to the police and blatantly lies to his parents, he works hard to save his friend, and readers will admire his heart as well as his brain.


There is no overt violence, but readers' imaginations might fill in the blanks when imagining about what could have happened to the abducted girl. A body is found drowned in a local lake, and some presume it's the missing girl, murdered by her cousin.



Facebook is mentioned and used to locate the abducted teen.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

April’s mother takes pills to check out of her life. Teens are at a college fraternity party where there are lots of cans of beer and smoking. Theo's mother, a successful lawyer, is often portrayed drinking coffee to lose weight. Uncle Ike uses coffee to keep himself awake while driving at night.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this novel is more mature than the first book as it deals with a disturbing issue that's more immediate to a teen audience: a missing 13-year-old who may be dead. There are other mature aspects as well, including the discovery of a dead body, an escaped convict who wants to trade information for leniency, dysfunctional, divorcing parents, and teens at a college fraternity party. Theo is not always completely truthful when talking to the police and blatantly lies to his parents, but ultimately he is a heroic character who uses his skills to save his friend. 

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written July 22, 2017

Slightly Disappointing

Great book at the start. It does not keep you guessing all the way through the book though. I think the writer failed to write an exciting or tense ending and i... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byGilbert R. May 15, 2017

Book review

Book Review
By: Gilbert Rice
The book “the Abduction” is a book about a young girl who is abducted by someone and it's up Theodore Boone to find out! One... Continue reading

What's the story?

Theo’s best friend, 13-year-old April, is missing from her home. Using clues at the scene of the crime, the police determine she hasn’t run away but has been abducted by someone she knows. When April’s distant cousin, who has just escaped from prison, claims to know her whereabouts, the police follow his lead. But Theodore Boone is not so sure. He decides to rely on his sleuthing skill -- and technological know-how -- to find his missing friend.

Is it any good?

Like the first book in the popular series, this novel has a page-turning plot and introduces both complex legal and social issues in a way middle-schoolers can absorb. Indeed, teen fans of the first book might find this book more relevant as it deals with themes such as self-absorbed parents, unhappy homelife, and kids dealing with feelings of abandonment. Though Theo often bends (and even breaks) rules, he is always trying to do the right thing, and readers will admire his heart as well as his brain. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about popular mystery series. How does Theo compare to other detective kids, such as Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, or the Hardy Boys? How has the author updated his protagonist?

  • Theo is not always completely truthful when talking to the police and lies to his parents. Is it ever OK to lie? What would you do if you promised a friend you would keep her secret?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

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