Theodore Boone: The Accused

Book review by
Barbara Lawrence, Common Sense Media
Theodore Boone: The Accused Book Poster Image
Exciting series gets personal with Boone accused of theft.

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Kids say

age 12+
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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Like the other books in the series, Theodore Boone: The Accused is packed with information on the law and our legal system. Fans will enjoy Theodore’s trip to Animal Court to represent a llama.

Positive Messages

Real-life decisions are complex, and making the right decision isn't always easy. Theodore works through some hard choices and, for the most part, chooses the moral path.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Up until now, it's been easy for Theodore to do the right thing. But in this novel, he's accused of theft and is being victimized. As his life begins to become unglued, he still tries to do what's right and is a better role model because he isn't perfect.

Violence

Theodore is involved in a fight at school. A client brings a gun into the law offices and threatens his estranged wife. Some references to the husband's abusive behavior.

 

Sex
Language
Consumerism

GoogleEarth and Facebook are used to track down evidence. Nike and Twinkies are mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Uncle Ike is a down-on-his-luck disbarred lawyer who drinks too much and suffers the next day.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Theodore Boone: The Accused is the third novel in the series by John Grisham and addresses issues that affect tweens and teens: computer hacking, divorce, bullying, and Internet safety. Theodore doesn't always seek help from his parents when he's in trouble, and he lets his uncle talk him into doing some questionable investigating. The dilemmas he faces are appropriate for tweens and teens but not for younger kids, who might not get the nuances when Theodore faces issues that don't have clear right or wrong answers. Although most adults are portrayed as helpful, the detectives who investigate Theodore aren't. There's not much violence, but Theodore is involved in a fight at school, and a client brings a gun into a law office and threatens his estranged wife. 

User Reviews

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Kid, 12 years old October 7, 2012

Wonderful!

I couldn't put it down. I was a page turner and a must read!

What's the story?

Theodore Boone is accused of theft and is the No. 1 suspect of the Strattenburg police. To make matters worse, someone is slashing his bike tires and messing with his locker. With his comfortable life turned upside down, Theodore is forced to take matters into his own hands. He turns to his black-sheep Uncle Ike, who comes up with a possibly unethical plan to prove Theodore's innocence. This is the third book in the Theodore Boone series, following Kid Lawyer and The Abduction.

Is it any good?

This plot-driven legal thriller will keep readers guessing until the end. Continuing the Theodore Boone tradition, author John Grisham weaves lessons on the law into a page turner. Theodore becomes much more real in this third novel because he's at the center of the plot -- victimized, with his reputation on the line, and forced to make some hard decisions. His knowledge of the law still helps him, but he must also rely on friends.

Grisham makes the law easy to understand by applying it to issues that tweens and teens can relate to: divorce, cyber-security, and privacy at school. These thought-provoking issues give readers something to ponder, and Grisham doesn't give any easy answers. Although the topics are heavy, Grisham's fast-pasted style keeps readers engaged.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Theodore Boone: The Accused compares with the first two books in the Theodore Boone series. Is it as good? Better? Less compelling?

  • Does trying to prove his innocence justify Theodore's hacking into confidential legal files? Is hacking into someone's computer the same as looking at papers on their desk?

  • What do you think about Theodore's principal having the right to look in student lockers and backpacks? Do you think students should have the right to privacy at school? Why aren't students entitled to the same privacy rights as adults?

Book details

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