Theodore Boone: the abduction

Theodore Boone: the abduction

by John Grisham
Penguin, 2011
ISBN 978-0-525-42557-1
$19.50, 272 pp, ages 10 – 13

John Grisham’s name is legendary in the publishing world. He has written twenty-three novels, one work of non-fiction and one collection of short stories. Since 1988, all his books have become international bestsellers. He is best known for his legal thrillers, and Theodore Boon: the abduction is the second novel of this genre that he has written for young readers.

Thirteen-year-old Theodore Boon is the only child of two lawyers. They live in the small town of Strattenburg. Theodore is knowledgable about the law, is well liked by adults and his peers and has a reputation for solving small legal issues (like rescuing dogs from the pound). When Theodore’s best friend April disappears from her home in the middle of the night, the town is gripped with fear. The police chase down several false leads but after several days no progress has been made in locating her. Everyone fears the worst. Theodore and his friend Chase apply their investigative skills to the problem and eventually succeed in locating her in Virginia. With his parents out of town, Theodore turns to his Uncle Ike for help and they are able to travel through the night to bring April home.

Classroom Connections: The abrupt writing style gives this book the feel of an old detective novel—perhaps something like an edgier Hardy Boy’s story. Although it takes place in the United States it does supply some general information about the legal system in a kid-friendly way. April’s increasingly dysfunctional home life also provides a platform for a discussion around issues of support for children in crisis. Any student who enjoys suspense (violence-free) stories or enjoys unravelling puzzles and mysteries would like this book. As with other books of this genre, it also provides teachers with an opportunity to focus on questioning as an effective reading strategy.

Review by Brenda Boreham.

This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2012 issue.

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