Theodore Boone: The Abduction
What You Need to Know:|
• I have to say it, Theodore Boone: The Abduction was much better than the first Theo Boone.
• It's still typical Grisham fiction, not very literary, but this story was more suspenseful and exciting than the first.
• I feel like Grisham heard the complaints from the first books and attempted to fix it.
Theodore Boone: The Abduction is a fast moving story that will keep some reluctant readers happy. I say some because all Grisham fiction, for adults or children, reads like legal procedurals, and that type of novel doesn't always hold a child's interest (or adults!). In the first Theo Boone, I felt that there was too much legalese language. This Theo Boone has a smattering of it, but the bulk of this book is a thriller. Theo's best friend April, whom we met in Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, has gone missing in the middle of the night. April's family situation is not ideal. Her parents, while still technically married, don't actually live together. April's dad is a ne'er-do-well who is still trying to eke out a living, playing in his (bad) band. Her mom drives an old hearse, peddling goat cheese. April is often left alone in the house. On the night she disappeared, her mother went out for the evening. When she returned, April was gone.
At the same time, April's distant cousin Jack Leeper, escapes from prison and has been sighted in the area. It is also discovered that Jack and April were penpals. The police zero in on Leeper and find him. But Leeper won't give up any info on the girl. While the police spin their wheels, Theo takes his investigation in a different direction, and guess who is right? I have only given this book a "mild concerns" rating, because what feels like a desperate situation throughout the novel comes to a satisfactory conclusion.
It bears repeating that I liked this book a lot more than the first Theodore Boone. I especially like how Grisham treats his settings as another character in his books. I am not one to yearn to live in the south, but every time I read a Grisham, my interest is peaked for places like Mississippi and Alabama. I also like the family interactions. Theo Boone is a nice kid with two caring parents. Some of the things Theo is involved with push the boundaries of reality for a 13 year old kid, but I won't quibble, it's escapist fiction.
2011, 256 pages
Friendship, Detective Stories, Self-Awareness/Discovery, Adventure, Family Life, Books for Boys
• Did this story about April's abduction, scare you?
• Do you think this could happen to you or someone you know? Why or why not?
• What are some ways you could protect yourself? Your friend?
• If your friend confided in you, and asked you not to tell anyone, would you break that promise if it could help keep
your friend from a dangerous situation? Why/why not?
• Have you ever helped a friend out of a jam? What happened and how did you help?
• What happened and how did you help?
• In school, has your class studied about our legal system? Do you think you might want to practice law?
• When you are older, what other careers do you think might interest you?
• Are your interactions with your parents similar to Theo's with his parents? In what ways are they similar or different?
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