Author: John Grisham
Publication: Dutton Children's Books; 1 edition (May 25, 2010)
Description: A perfect murder
A faceless witness
A lone courtroom champion knows the whole truth . . . and he’s only thirteen years old
Meet Theodore Boone
In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk—and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom.
But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much—maybe too much—he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth.
The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.
Brimming with the intrigue and suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller and the undisputed master of the legal thriller, Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer will keep readers guessing and pages turning.
My Thoughts: This was a rather unusual book for young adults. I don't recall another work of fiction that explores so much of what it means to be a lawyer. While there is a murder and a murder trial in the book, it is not a mystery. Instead, it is more an exploration of legal ethics. Theo is 13. He is the only child of lawyers and is determined to be in the legal system some day. He wants to be either a trial lawyer or a judge. He is getting some practice at a legal career even though he is only 13 as he gives his friends legal advice and is even asked for advice from adults.
He is concerned with a divorce trial that is forcing one of his good friends to choose which parent she will live with when she doesn't want to live with either. Another friend comes to him when his parents are in debt and in danger of losing their house. Still another friend comes to him when her dog is picked up by animal control. Theo helps with all these cases but, when a friend comes and says that his cousin was a witness in a murder trial but is afraid to come forward because he is an illegal immigrant, Theo doesn't know what to do.
Theo has a good relationship with the adults in his life. I liked his relationship with his parents and his uncle Ike. He also has a good relationship with the judge in charge of the murder trial. In all cases, he is treated as a child but not a stupid child who needs to be sheltered. He is treated with respect.
All in all, the story seemed a little old-fashioned to me in both the situations and the dialog. The legal stuff was all right on but I'm not sure that I believe that a 13-year-old would actually be consulted about legal matters by his fellow students or adults.
I do recommend this for young adults who might be interested in the law. The story was told in a relaxed and gentle way. There was no major excitement. While a murder could make the story seem dark, this book was not dark or edgy.
His father started laughing. "Yes, it was a pretty lame cough, Theo, even by your standards."Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Debut Novel, 2010 YA Reading Challenge
"I could be dying," Theo said, trying not to laugh.
"Yes, but your're not", his father said. "And if you show up in the courtroom tomorrow Judge Gantry will have you arrested as a truant."
"You know any good lawyers?" Theo shot back. His mother burst out laughing, and, eventually, Woods saw the humor.