Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Theodore Boone: The Accused

Theodore Boone: The Accused

John Grisham
For ages 8 to 12
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Richard Thomas
Penguin Audio, 2012   ISBN: 978-1611760644

Thirteen year-old Theodore Boone is fascinated by the world of lawyers, court cases, judges, and courts. One day he hopes to be a lawyer, just like his parents, and he already does what he can to help people who have to go to Animal Court. In addition, it is not unusual for kids in school to ask Theodore for advice when their families are having some kind of legal crisis. One thing Theodore never expects is to find himself on the wrong side of the law.

   Theodore’s problems begin when someone opens his locker and steals his baseball hat, some notepads, and his extra asthma inhalers. After school that day he finds out that someone has slashed his bike tire. Theodore is not sure what to do about this, though he thinks he should discuss the theft and vandalism with his parents. Life gets in the way, as it so often does, and Theodore does not tell his parents what is going on.

  Then Theodore’s bike tires are slashed again, and someone throws a stone through the Boone

& Boone office window. Though these events are upsetting, Theodore’s life takes a turn for the worse when someone calls the police and tells them that some of the items stolen from Big Mac’s Systems, a computer store, can be found in Theodore’s school locker. When the locker is searched the police find three high end laptops, and the registration numbers on the laptops indicate that they belong to Big Mac. Though the principal does not believe for a minute that Theodore is a thief and she defends him, the police are convinced that Theodore is the thief that they are looking for. Being the son of lawyers, Theodore knows what his rights are and he calls first his parents and then his uncle Ike to come to his rescue. Uncle Ike shows up and makes it clear that he is not going to let the police railroad his nephew into making a confession. When Theodore goes to the police station to make a statement after school, his is accompanied by Uncle Ike and both of his parents. He feels safer now that he has their support, but he is also scared. Theodore has never been accused of a crime, and he has no idea who has framed him or why.

   Listeners who enjoy mysteries are going to enjoy this third Theodore Boone adventure. Usually Theodore is the one investigating a crime for someone else, but in this story Theodore is in the unenviable position of having to investigate the crime he has been accused of doing. It is interesting to see how Theodore copes with being in the hot seat, and how he and his allies set about trying to find out the truth.