The Scandal – by John Grisham (2016)

The Scandal - by John Grisham


Just when I thought John Grisham had wrapped up his “Theodore Boone” series, he published another great story about the kid lawyer. Growing up with two lawyers for parents, Theo isn’t just any kid. He’s only 13, but knows the law and court procedures better than most adults. His friends frequently ask his advise on matters of a legal nature.

Usually Theo doesn’t mind going to school, but this week is different. All week he and the other 8th graders from the three schools in town will be subjected to the state standardized tests. Everyone dreads the tests: the students who feel the pressure to get high scores, the teachers who will be evaluated on their teaching skill based on the results, and the parents who fear their children may be labeled as “slow” if they don’t do well. When the week is over and the results are in, something doesn’t seem quite right.

All the lovable characters from the first five books are included. There’s April, the friend whose dysfunctional family problems never end. There’s Mr. Mount, their favorite teacher, and Mrs. Gladwell the principal. There’s Theo’s parents, Woods and Marcella, who are constantly debating and discussing things. There’s Judge Yek, who is still in charge of Animal Court. And of course there’s Uncle Ike, as crazy as ever.

I did notice that Theo has remained the same age through all six volumes of the series. It would seem unlikely that so many stories could come out of one year, but hey, anything is possible with fiction. Don’t let the young age of Theo keep you from reading this book. It’s an enjoyable, quick read that tackles a subject that I have not seen in the fiction realm. Pick up a copy today at your local library!


Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer – by John Grisham (2010)

Theodore Boone - Kid Lawyer

Theodore is the only child of a husband-wife lawyer team in the small town of Strattenburg. His father handles real estate deals, his mother divorce cases. He hangs out at his parents’ office after school, and is well-known at the local courthouse. Conversations at dinner often center around the law. At 13 years of age, Theo already has a better grasp of legal matters and defense strategies than most adults. His dream is to become a skilled lawyer like his parents.

Theo’s fascination with everything legal earns him the nickname “kid lawyer”. He answers classmates’ questions about the law. He also goes to the courthouse with his friend April to offer moral support. When the trial of accused killer Pete Duffy starts, the government class is allowed to see the opening arguments. Theo is immediately fascinated with the case, and gets personally involved.

Grisham’s first novel for pre-adults is a fun read. I enjoyed the unusual-ness of the Boone family. His close friendship with April, whose life is rather messed up, added to the story. Lastly, Theo’s crazy Uncle Ike was terrific. This story can be enjoyed by readers spanning middle-school, high school, and adult ages. A copy of this book can be found in the teen or young adult section of your local library.