Perry Mason and Encylopedia Brown say Hello to Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer. He's about to teach us all a thing or two about the law. Theo is the son of two lawyers and is already practicing whether he wants to or not at school. Kids and secretaries turn to Theo in their hour of need because Theo knows the law and has access to all kinds of insider info through his laptop computer and his parents access codes. Got a pet on the lam? Got a relative with a drinking and driving issue? About to lose the family home? Call Theo and he knows exactly what to do legally to get you through the hard times and as he practices law, you the reader will get a seminar in what all the legalese means and how to find your way around the courtroom. This book is part Law for Dummies and part boy meets murderer who is about to get away. Theo even does community service and teaches English to kids whose parents speak Spanish and may or may not have their green cards and that is exactly how he finds himself in a jam. You see there's a real first-rate murder trial going on in town and Theo has gotten his entire class into the courtroom to watch the proceedings. He gives updates to help his teacher fill in time on Fridays and he knows all the details of the case. It looks like this murderer is going to walk due to a lack of evidence. Well, that is until Theo's English student shows up with a cousin who may have the key to the whole case. There are a couple of dark characters lurking in the background and you kind of get the feeling they aren't going away and just may appear in the next installment. There's not a whole lot of suspense here so it's not a scary edge of your seat book but it is a book that centers on a very upstanding young man with a big future in the law and a heart that calls him to help every Tom, Dick and Julio that crosses his path. Quite the problem solver. I'd love to see Encyclopedia Brown challenge him to a match. 263 pages
Most young teens are interested in sports or hanging out, but Theo Boone is interested in the law. He would rather be at the courthouse than at school. His parents are both lawyers, his uncle was a lawyer, and he is sure to become one. Thirteen-year-old Theo provides his friends with legal advice, which, in this first book in John Grisham’s new series, leads Theo right into the middle of a murder trial.
This book has no violence, a slowly developing plot, and an ending that leads directly into the next book in the series. I would recommend it for 5th-6th grade boys who may relate to the generally well-behaved Theo. The best issue in the book is the moral (and legal) dilemma Theo faces – to protect his “client” and yet prevent the injustice of a guilty man being acquitted.
I will watch for the second book in this series with hope there will be a tighter writing and more action.
Recommended by Barbara Feihn, Librarian.