Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer

3.8 490
by John Grisham

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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…  See more details below


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Grisham, a bestseller-list fixture with his legal thrillers, makes his children's book debut with a series opener that lacks thrills. The only child of two attorneys, Theo Boone is an endearing oddball, an eighth-grader who still thinks girls have cooties, but who knows every lawyer, bailiff, and judge in town. There's an underdeveloped subplot about a best friend whose parents are divorcing, but Theo's contacts with peers mainly consist of him playing lawyer--advising one boy to have his parents file for bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure, reassuring another about his brother's drug arrest, and in the main thread, producing an eyewitness to a murder for which the prosecuting attorney, heretofore, had only circumstantial evidence. He's less a real kid than an adult's projection of what an ideal kid might be like--determined to be the "most talented linguist" in his Spanish class and appreciative of the scruffy charms of the local college team's baseball stadium. The book is smoothly written, and there's a mild tutorial on the criminal justice system ("Theo knew that in 65 percent of murder cases the defendant does not testify..."). What there isn't is any excitement. Ages 8-12. (May)
The New York Times
Not since Nancy Drew has a nosy, crime-obsessed kid been so hard to resist.
The Los Angeles Times
Classic Grisham.
Scripps Howard News Service
Grisham successfully translates his talent for writing fast-paced, emotionally gripping legal thrillers into a book that will have young readers whipping through the pages to see what happens next.
Move over, Nancy Drew. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer introduces a new amateur crime fighter to bookstore shelves.
Washington Post Express
Heads up, Harriet the Spy, the Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and even those kids from 'Ghostwriter' (you all have a new crime-solver to add to the crew.)
Scholastic News
Gripping... I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery. I think everyone will be enthralled by Theodore Boone.
Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer zips along at a quick pace, and young readers will be intrigued by the showdown of the trial.
From the Publisher
"Not since Nancy Drew has a nosy, crime-obsessed kid been so hard to resist." -The New York Times

"Classic Grisham." -The Los Angeles Times

Bulletin for the Center of Childrens Books
A rather quirky combination of Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
When I saw that John Grisham had written a book for children, I was a little bit dubious especially since I have read other books by adult authors or celebrities who were trying their hand at children's books. I have to say that this book really does succeed. While the story may be a little farfetched from an adult standpoint the age group for which it is targeted will really enjoy it. Theo has spent most of his life at the law offices of his parents; he dreams of becoming a lawyer or perhaps a judge himself. He knows most of the lawyers and judges in town, court personnel and is absolutely beside himself at the prospect of attending the biggest murder trial to hit his hometown. At first the story seems reasonably straightforward giving a rundown about lawyers and how the court works, some very interesting twists dealing with immigrants, surprise witnesses, mistrials, the interaction between Theo his parents and his uncle Ike. The latter seems to be the black sheep of the family. All these events and characters are not confusing and keep the reader turning the pages to find out how the trial will end. In addition, seeing how Teddy or Theo as his friends call him is the in house lawyer at school helping his chums find solutions to their problems and solve family problems is a real treat. The story is well-written maintains a good pace and when you get to the end, which I wouldn't dare spoil, I like most others will want to know more. I can't believe there will not be a sequel featuring Theo Boone. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
VOYA - Stacey Hayman
Theo's mom is a divorce lawyer with a preference for representing the wives, and his dad is a real estate attorney. He may only be thirteen, but he already knows he'll be a lawyer or a judge one day. In fact, kids at school already ask him for legal advice on a variety of issues, and Theo's happy to help, even when his assistance leads to his involvement in one of the biggest events of Strattenburg's history—the murder trial of Peter Duffy. A boy Theo is tutoring in algebra asks for assistance on behalf of his cousin, a young man who may be a key witness in a case that's light on concrete evidence. Can Theo help solve this complicated tangle of legal threads so the guilty are convicted and the innocent go free? A book that introduces teen readers to the intricacies of the legal world is a pretty clever premise for creating a potentially long and beloved series. It was surprising, however, to find some odd inconsistencies in a work by such an accomplished author, such as Theo explaining bankruptcy law to another teen but not understanding being held in contempt of court, or his parents being devoted to him, yet he spends most of his time unsupervised. Hopefully these details will be ironed out and Theo will go on to become the Encyclopedia Brown of his generation. Reviewer: Stacey Hayman
School Library Journal
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

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Theodore Boone Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
790L (what's this?)
File size:
934 KB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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View an excerpt from Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Not since Nancy Drew has a nosy, crime-obsessed kid been so hard to resist." -The New York Times

"Classic Grisham." -The Los Angeles Times

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Theodore Boone 3.8 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 490 reviews.
MaggieMay11 More than 1 year ago
My Grandma took us out for lunch and than took us to Borders where I saw this book. I know the author, John Grisham, and this is the first book he has for children so I decided to buy it. I took it on vacation and read it in just four days. I loved it. I hope John Grisham comes out with more children books. Here is another description about the book: Theodore Boone is the only kid of two parents who are lawyers. He knows every policeman, lawyer, and judge than anyone else. He helps kids around his school with their problems. Theo(thats what people call him and his mother calls him Teddy sometimes) practically thinks he lawyer himself. There is a huge case going on in the city of Strattenburg. It is the first big murder case in forever. One of the kid he tutors knows something about the case. His cousin is a illegal immigrant and has witnessed the murder he has told Theo and now he is stuck in the middle of it. Will the cousin come out and show himself or not? Will a guilty man be taken to jail for murder or will he be let go? You have to read the book to find out. And please if it sounds boring believe me its not. If you love a good mystery you will love this book. It keeps grabbing you in and in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not into lawyer mysteries but my friend loaned it to me and i loved it! Great book.
Roxcol More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed John Grisham's work and now I can't wait to read this new young readers story. There is something so amazing about kids doing adult like activities like being a lawyer and if anyone can pull a kid lawyer off it's Grisham.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book it was realy captivating i read it non stop i recomend the sisters grimm, a wrinkle in time, and the boxcar children. Sincerly, The big bad wolf A.K.A J.D.G
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When Pete Duffley is accused of murdering his wife only one person can get the evidence to convict him. Theodore Boone, son of two lawyers, and a very good advisor himself. Finds the evidence to covict Mr. Duffley. This book hold many twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages, as fast as Theo collects the evidence. I am a avid mystery reader and movie watcher, and when it comes to a good book... the novel Grisham has constructed barely trails Sir Aurthur Connan Dolye.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This could have been a great book had the author fiished the story. I almost felt he got bored writing it and sent it to the publisher with out an ending. Then it seems that the publisher knowing what a great writter Grisham usually is chose not to question him and sent the book to print. Were they all thinking, well it has the Grisham name people will buy it with out reading reviews... I wish I had done so before spending the money on it. I usually love Grisham and read his books in less than a day. I had to force myself to get through this one and it took 4 days...that is unheard of for me especially considering the book is only146 pgs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I needed a book that was like the firm but not as adultish. What i got was this. The beginning throuh middle was one of the best subjects I've ever read. But then near the end i found myself rushed. It was almost like Mr. John got borred writing the book and decided to stop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book can't wait to finish the entire series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In searching for something appropriate for young teenage grandson, was very happy to discover John Grisham is now writing for that age group. Hope that he continues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Theodore Boone is pretty good, but from other reviews, it sounded like you were puting this book in front of God. So, just remember, put God first, this book second.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, John Grisham is known to make more adult books. But this book has proven that he can write tween books. I love this book so much and this is a real "under the covers" read! Recomened!
MNRick More than 1 year ago
Received as a gift. More suited for teens, but I enjoyed it.
iamgrandma More than 1 year ago
this was a great read, great moral decisions ,good family life ,great social awareness.This is the kind of book I will gladly recommend to family and friends without any reseveration.Thanks JOHN !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING!!!!!John Grisham i an amazing author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It will leave you on the edge of you seat till the end . Must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love love love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! Its a bit boring in the very beginning but after that, this book is exceptional! Loved it and I hope you will love it too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was truly amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was really good except for the ending it was kinda slow overall great book i hopethere are more comin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved,loved,loved this book. John Grisham wrote this novel as a very detailed amazing mystery. (John Grisham) Theodore taught and informed me so much about the law.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not finished this book yet but I can tell it is going to have a great ending. This a suspenseful author. I love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good i couldn't stop reading read it in 1 day
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good book it was very interesting i loved it u should read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!!