Gr 6-8--Thirteen-year-old Theodore Boone's fervent wish is to become a great lawyer one day, or better yet, a great judge. Theo's parents are both lawyers and have their law firm where Theo has his own little office. Because of his knowledge of legal matters, his classmates turn to him for advice. As John Grisham's first volume (Dutton, 2010) in a projected series opens, Theo has arranged for his class to go on a field trip to the courthouse for the opening of a high-profile murder trial. Theo becomes more directly involved in the sensational murder trial when one of his friends informs him that his cousin is in possession of key evidence in the case but is too afraid to come forward because of his immigration status. Although Theo is sworn to secrecy, he must figure out how to bring this information to light before the end of the trial. The courtroom drama and background legal matters are realistically portrayed and easy to understand. There are times though, when the action slows down as Grisham weaves explanations of the legal system and process into the story. Richard Thomas's well-paced reading is appropriately youthful, and he gives each character a distinct voice. The conclusion of the novel serves as the beginning of the next and the continuation of the case.--Mary Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH[Page 60]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 6-8--John Grisham continues the story of Theodore Boone, 13-year-old son of two lawyers who wants to follow in his parents' profession and would rather spend time in the courtroom than the classroom (or sports field). In this sequel (2011) to Kid Lawyer (2010, both Dutton), Theodore is the last person to have talked to his classmate and friend, April, before she was abducted and he decides to investigate. With the help of his friend and his uncle Ike, he uncovers the mystery of April's disappearance. While the subject matter is serious, and at one point a body is found, Richard Thomas's soft voice never really conveys the sense of urgency or mystery that one would expect, and the narrative doesn't maintain the tension that the subject matter demands. After Theodore is interrogated by the police at 4:30 in the morning, he and his parents go out for breakfast as if nothing has happened. And Theodore's search for April is interrupted when he appears in Animal Court to defend his classmate's cranky parrot that has terrorized the customers of a nearby business. This diversion, along with Thomas's understated reading, causes the story to lose focus and intensity.--Edith Ching, University of Maryland, College Park[Page 71]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 6-8--Theodore Boone isn't your typical 13-year-old--he's a kid lawyer extraordinaire. The only son of two lawyers, Theo has a knack for getting to the bottom of things, which consequently leads to some sticky situations. There's courtroom drama and legalities, all explained in detail that is not only educational, but also downright entertaining. In typical Grisham style, this novel about eminent domain will keep middle graders hooked. As Theo finds himself in the center of a hot political battle over a proposed highway bypass through his town, he discovers corruption that has him questioning the ethics and motivations of everyone involved, including his father. When his beloved canine sidekick, Judge, is badly injured in a confrontation with surveyors, Theo discovers that a dog is not only a boy's best friend, but also his star witness. Richard Thomas is the perfect narrator, giving Theo's voice the same earnestness and innocence that he brought to his character of John-Boy on the iconic TV series, The Waltons. A great choice for libraries where the series is popular and also a strong stand-alone that can be enjoyed on its own.--Meg B. Allison, The Moretown School, VT[Page 74]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.