Most people have heard of John Grisham, whether through reading his books or watching films of his books – he is an excellent writer of legal thrillers, selling more than 300 million copies of his books worldwide. Whilst he entertains millions of adult readers worldwide with his brilliant thrillers, he also writes a series of legal thrillers for children – the Theodore Boone series.
The Theodore Boone series has seven books in the series and is aimed at children aged ten and upwards. Theodore Boone is a 13 year old boy who just loves the legal system and loves to spend time in the courtroom. He lives in Strattenburg, Pennsylvania with his lawyer parents (Mrs Boone is a family/divorce lawyer, whilst Mr Boone is real-estate lawyer). Theo dreams of following in their footsteps and becoming a top lawyer or ultimately a judge. He knows many of the police officers in town as well as the court officials, everybody from the janitor to the judges. He spends a lot of his time helping classmates resolve their “legal” issues.
The Abduction is the second book in the series and this time sees Theo’s best friend April Finnemore go missing in what looks like to be a kidnapping. With the police having no clues and their only suspect not cooperating, it is down to young Theodore Boone to find his friend.
Overall, I love John Grisham’s legal thrillers, they are excellent reading and feel really authentic (he was a lawyer, a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives and is a member of the board of directors of the Innocence Project so he all the legal expertise). The Theodore Boone series is a collection of legal thrillers aimed at children featuring a teenage boy/wannabe lawyer and are excellent fast-paced thrillers that children will enjoy.
Theodore Boone is a typical teenage boy, he attends school (although he does try to get out of it a lot) and is doing very well, he has his friends that he will do anything for and he has a passion for the law and justice, which is not surprising as he comes from a family of successful lawyers and has his own “office” in their law firm. Theo has to balance his home, school and family life with his thirst for the very grown-up legal world and his desire to be a famous trial lawyer, or possibly a judge, very carefully. When his best friend April goes missing, possibly the victim of an abduction by a distant relative or even her father, Theodore cannot just sit there are wait for news and starts his own investigation into trying to find her.
But if things weren’t stressful enough, during his investigation he also has to defend a schoolmate in animal court from losing his 50 year old pet parrot.
The Abduction is a very good fast-paced legal thriller that isn’t packed with legal jargon to put young readers off. Children (10+) will be entertained with the disappearance of a young girl and the race to find her. She doesn’t have the happiest of homes with her mother’s drug problem and her father always disappearing for weeks at a time to play in an aging band – so the question is, did she run away or was she kidnapped?
Whilst Grisham is a master of the courtroom drama and legal thrillers for the adult market, he has written an excellent series for children where any legalities and courtroom situations are not full of legal jargon but have been written in a way that children will understand and enjoy, keeping how serious the meaning is but without boring young readers.
This is an excellent adventurous legal thriller that children will have fun reading. It is packed with tension and travels along at a fast pace. There are mentions of a dead body so some young readers may find that upsetting but it doesn’t go into any real detail.
The Abduction is a very good and enjoyable, action-packed and entertaining introduction into the world of lawyers, judges and the workings of the judicial system as well as the hunt for a missing child which is suitable for young readers.
RRP: £12.99 (Hardback) / £8.99 (Paperback) / £4.99 (Kindle)