Theodore Boone: The Fugitive by John Grisham Review

Reviewed by David Savage

The Fugitive is the fifth book in the Theodore Boone series of books written by world renowned best-selling author of legal thrillers John Grisham. John Grisham usually writes for adults but the Theodore Boone series are legal thrillers aimed at children 10 years +.

Theodore Boone is a 13 year old boy and the only child of lawyers Marcella Boone (Mother), Woods Boone (Father) and the favourite nephew of disgraced lawyer Ike Boone (Uncle). He also has his faithful pet dog called Judge and his best friend April who he can discuss his problems with. While having grown up around lawyers, law offices and courtrooms he has himself become a teenage lawyer.

When Theo and his eighth grade class are on a school trip to Washington DC seeing the sights of the American capital city he spots one of America’s Most Wanted, number 7 on the list, and the most wanted in the history of his home town of Strattenburg. Pete Duffy has been accused of murdering his wife but has escaped from custody and is on the run. After seeing him on the Metro (train) Theo soon becomes involved with the FBI and the hunt for a murderer.

That is just the beginning. Once captured Pete Duffy is extradited to Strattenburg for trial and Theo is getting in deeper than he anticipated. Will justice prevail on will the killers associates stop the trial and set a murderer free once again?

Being a big fan of John Grisham I was interested to see how he would adapt his excellent style of writing adult legal thrillers to be accessible to a children’s market and all I can say is that he achieved his aim very well. This is the first Theodore Boone book I have read and I will have to look at reading the previous four.

Theo has to balance his home, school and family life with his thirst for the very grown-up legal world and his desire to be a famous trial lawyer or possibly a judge although at 13 he is still undecided and goes back and forth.

John Grisham has written a story about the capture and trial of a murderer and managed to incorporate legal technicalities into a format that children will understand without being bored. The Fugitive is well-written and quite fast-paced and shows the importance of doing the right thing even when you are unsure what to do.

I found this book to be extremely enjoyable, capturing legalities that you would expect to find in a courtroom and explaining the basics behind them without being condescending or patronising. While aimed at children from 10 years + I think it would be better suited for age 13 + to fully enjoy it.

An excellent legal thriller that children will love and so will adults that don’t want a heavy going legal courtroom drama. This is the fifth book in the series but you do not have to have read the previous books to follow the story.

A great introduction for children into the world of lawyers, judges and the workings of the judicial system.

Rating: 4.5/5

RRP: £12.99 (hardback)

Available to buy from 21 May 2015 from Hodder here.

4 half Star

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