'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Review: Theodore Boone - Kid Lawyer

Title: Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer

Author: John Grisham

Illustrator: N/A

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton, $32.99 RRP

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781444714494

For ages: 8 - 12+

Type: Novel

About: We all know John Grisham, bestselling author of twenty-one novels, legal fiction writer extraordinaire, but you may not have expected to see him appearing on Kids Book Review. Grisham only writes books for adults, right? Well, yes… until now, that is.

That’s right – Grisham, with his first junior fiction novel, Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer on the shelves today, has adapted his signature style to suit kids.

Or has he?

Theodore Boone is a thirteen-year-old boy who lives and breathes the legal system. His parents are both busy lawyers and Theo likes nothing more than hanging around the courtroom, chatting with judges and lawyers, and he dreams of being a lawyer when he grows up.

When a big murder case begins, Theo becomes entangled in it, with evidence that makes him the only one who can make sure justice is done.

To be honest, when this book arrived in my letterbox, I was skeptical. As a fan of Grisham’s early work, I was curious to see how his writing would appeal to kids.

I read Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer with an ill-at-ease feeling about the target age group. Scour the junior fiction shelves of any bookshop and you’ll find an array of amazing stories - some funny and cheeky, others tackling more serious topics. But would you expect to see a book about the legalities of a murder case? Unlikely.

So, would I buy this for the eight- to twelve-year-olds in my life? No.

But then I went back through the book and realised that it would be great for teenagers. Read in that context, the book was fantastic: a piece of classic Grisham, complete with twists and turns, clear explanations of the whole legal process, and a wonderful introduction to crime novels.

This book is available online

Author website