John Grisham's Theodore Boone not bound by genre

Book Review The second in a series written for eight- to 12-year-olds about a budding lawyer, Theodore Boone: The Abduction is an easy to follow plot that is engaging enough to captivate adults as well.

Theodore Boone: The Abduction
John Grisham
Dutton Juvenile
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No one will ever accuse John Grisham of being a great prose stylist. His tin ear for dialogue and his trite descriptions are offset, however, by this lawyer-turned-novelist's expertise with plot twists and turns and his (mostly) believable characters. His books are pleasing page-turners, and Theodore Boone: The Abduction is no exception.

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It's the second in a series written for eight- to 12-year-olds, and thus what may be Grisham's weaknesses elsewhere become his strengths here, as his simple, short sentences make the story easy to follow for young readers. At the same time, the 13-year-old Boone, perspicacious beyond his years, is engaging enough to captivate adults also.

Still, this time around isn't as rewarding as the first in the series, when the budding lawyer helped convict a man who killed his wife but was about to be found not guilty. Instead, nothing much happens, as Theodore solves what appears to be the kidnapping of his best friend, April, but which really is simply a case of her joining her rock musician father on the road. Yes, Theodore again gets to show his precocious deductive and investigate skills, but more action would have enhanced his appeal.