John Grisham, the famous author has introduced us to a kid lawyer – Theodore “Theo” Boone. Of course, he is not actually a lawyer with a degree, as he is still in school. But, born to parents who both are lawyers and serving different streams of law, he know a little about laws. His uncle is also a (retired from practise, due to unknown reasons) lawyer. And some of the judges of the city knows Theo by name as Theo get a chance to meet them at various social and official events.
This fictional character is loved by readers very much. Especially young adults. So, John kept writing books in this series. It is not wrong to say that Theo is kind of – young Sheldon (if you know the reference). He has his limitations and vulnerabilities, of course. He is an intelligent kid, but he is not a super-kid. And, that is what makes him believable and lovable and more real. And, I think it is the reason, the readers connect with him quite easily.
Today we are going to talk about Theodore Boone: The Fugitive that continues in reference of a case we came across in Theodore Boone | Kid Lawyer.
|Book Title||:||Theodor Boone: The Fugitive
You Don't Need To Have Superpowers To Be A Hero Theodore Boone
|Published by||:||Hodder & Stoughton ( 21 May 2015)|
|# of Pages||:||272 (Paperback) 257; 1256 KB (Kindle EBook) 256 (Hardcover)|
Let us take a look at the cover page of the book.
The cover page is nothing less than a gateway to the virtual world explored within the pages. And, thus the impression of a book, created by its cover, impacts hugely on a remarkable number of purchase and/or read decisions.
As you can see, the book has multiple reprints, and each one has a cover page reflecting the resources available, theme in practise and surroundings of the respective times. I must say that all the illustrations are worth looking at once and represents the time of publishing quite well.
It is obvious to see a young boy, either on his bike (cycle) or at the stairs of a court house, or may be in a school – as a perfect representation of the protagonist. This book gives one more option to the designer, showing Theo travelling in a metro, however, the designers (wisely) tried to do something different in this interesting version.
Interestingly I found one version of the book showing Theo followed by Judge (his pet) in an open field. I like this illustration the most.
I found the cover page quite honest to the book theme, and could have been a little better.
Let us take a bird’s eye view of the book plot.
Theodore “Theo” Boone, is an Eighth grade student who lives with his parents Mr. and Mrs. Boone, both practising lawyers in their hometown – Strattenburg. Their firm – Boone & Boone – had a third practising partner – Ike Boone, who left practising in court due to some unknown reasons. And yes, Theo has a pet dog named – Judge. Now Theo is in Eighth grade.
Life is going on as usual (as per their family standards), and as part of their overall development, the school has arranged a Field Trip. A trip to Washington, DC – the capital of United States. The students will get a chance to witness the places with historical importance there. And, they were excited!
Theo remembered the history of various places they are exploring, as it was in his school books, and was enjoy visited them. Theo had mixed feelings for city life. While he enjoyed watching the places and other stuff, he also missed the calm life of his hometown, where he could roam without worry. He thought, he may not be a city guy and may not settle in a big city. For him, Strattenburg is the best place!
The thing took a different path when he saw someone in a metro. That person has a unmissable resemblance to a criminal from his hometown. He is wanted, well, actually it was not proved that murder was done by him. It was a mistrial, but, he is one of the most-wanted fugitives!
How will Theo confirm that he is actually the wanted fugitive police and FBI is looking for? Will he be able to convey the authorities the same (if he actually is the fugitive!) and will the fugitive escape again?
Well, you need to read the book to get answers.
And, on the course, you will meet Theodore Boone, his dog – Judge, Mr. Mount, Mr. Babcock, Ms. Greenwood, Mr. Tubcheck, Mr. Tyler, Chase Whipple, Woody Lambert, Aaron Nyquist, April Finnemore, Pete Duffy, retired detective named Slats Stillman, Omar Cheepe, Paco, Bobby Escobar, Elsa Miller, Agent Ackerman, Agent Marcus Slade, Special Agent Daniel Frye, Judge Gantry, Clifford Nance, Julio Pena, Myra Duffy, Hector, Rita, Mr. Clifford Nance, Mr. Jack Hogan, Judge Sergio Yeck , Marvin Tweel, Officer Bard, Officer Sneed, Madame Monique, Miss Garman, Mrs. Gladwell, Myra Duffy has two sons: Will and Clark, Sheriff Mackintosh, and other characters.
Views And Reviews:
First thing first, the book is a good thriller and the way the author has penned it, is really interesting. The author has kept the sentences small and the paragraphs containing only few of them. These days, even adults don’t like to read very lengthy paragraphs. Thus, modern readers will find it quite easy to read this book.
It is a good cocktail of thrills, mystery, innocence, wisdom, wit, family support, daring and other elements, that makes it un-putdown-able.
Another good thing about John Grisham’s book is the research work he do for the same. Of course, he knows a lot about the legal system in the US, as he himself has worked with it. Still he takes advice from the people from the various streams of law (and other areas also) wherever he find it required. It makes his book more authentic in nature. Of course, there is “fiction” element in it.
The initial segments of the book are evident enough to let you know how statistical the author could be. At the same time he can elaborate human emotions and various attributes of his characters in realistic manner. Let me quote them here.
The Eighth-Grade Field Trip! Six hours by bus to Washington, DC (for 3.5 days 4 nights) along with ten teachers and eight parents.
Though the streetlights of Strattenburg were still on, and there was no hint of sunlight in the east, the parking lot in front of the middle school was buzzing with energy as almost 175 eighth graders arrived in family cars and vans, all driven by sleepy parents eager to get rid of the kids for a few days.
He liked his parents. They were a bit older than average, and he was an only child, and at times they seemed a little too protective. One of the few things that irritated Theo about them was their fondness of rules. All rules, regardless of who made them, must be followed perfectly.
Close by, the girls were saying good-bye to their mothers with all manner of embracing, blubbering, and carrying on as if they were going off to war and would probably never come home. By the boys’ buses, though, the tough guys stiffened and tried to get away quickly from their parents with as little contact as possible.
The protagonist’s thoughts on experiencing the busy and fast life of Washington, DC, are well enough to express his likes/dislikes, his clarity of vision and innocence at the same time. He is mature enough to know wasting precious time of life in running after something – and you even do not get joy from either the process or end goal – it is simply passing the time, not living a life.
He glanced around him at the glum faces of the commuters; no one was smiling. They all looked tired. He wasn’t sure where he would live when he grew up, but he didn’t think it would be in a big city. Strattenburg seemed the perfect size. Not too big, not too small. No traffic jams. No angry horn blowing. No crowded sidewalks. He didn’t want to ride a train to and from work.
And, the author introduces us to the possible “fugitive” through the lens and thoughts of the protagonist.
Pete Duffy? The most wanted man in the history of Strattenburg and Stratten County. Number seven on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted. The man who’d been accused of murdering his wife, had gone to trial in Strattenburg, in front of Judge Henry Gantry, a trial that Theo and his classmates had actually watched. The man who’d barely escaped a conviction when Judge Gantry declared a mistrial. The man who’d fled town in the middle of the night and had not been heard from since.
And he is not certain yet. He is still in dilemma. He need to verify that he is Pete Duffy, wearing a different persona. Or, he could someone else having a certain resemblance to “the fugitive”! It is quite possible. His state of mind is represented through a small and simple statement in the book by the author.
Theo was paralyzed with uncertainty.
Also, why someone who is in a wanted list roam in the capital city? Is he really Pete or someone else? The reasoning the author gives through characters is something like:
“Why would he hide in Washington? Why not Mexico or Australia?”
“Because that’s where we expect him to be. Often, it’s the guy who’s hiding in plain sight that’s never discovered.”
Also, Theo is a mature person. He doesn’t want to do something stupid in the name of bravery. He says:
“I don’t want to be the hero, Ike. I keep thinking about Omar Cheepe and Paco and those other tough guys who work for Pete Duffy. I’m sure they’re still around. I don’t want my name mentioned.”
And yes, nothing can be done if you don’t put efforts for the same:
Bringing a murderer to justice sounded great, but there could be a price to pay.
And, like other students, Theo also gets tired of study in case of some attention seeking subjects are to be attended, back to back:
Theo wasn’t sure about the other students, but after two days of nonstop history lessons, the dates and numbers were beginning to run together.
A character’s tight schedule and thought process in elaborated in the book as:
At four thirty, Theo was at his desk in his office, with his dog at his feet, doodling at his homework and staring at a Twins clock on the wall. He closed his eyes and imagined the crowded Metro train as it stopped at the Judiciary Square Station.
And, here is a funny yet realistic conversation between Theo and his uncle Ike.
“A tough week. You sound like a workingman who puts in forty hard hours in a factory.”
“Look, Ike, even kid lawyers have tough weeks.”
While the inquisitive nature of Theo is evident, here is a line that shows his understanding and emotional intelligence both.
He was struck by the loneliness of the job, the importance of making decisions that had such a heavy impact on the lives of so many people.
He is thinking about the job of a judge while witnessing him doing his job.
His maturity and understanding is visible in these lines as well:
Theo knew there were times when it was okay to push a little, and there were other times when pushing only made matters worse. This was a good time to back off. He knew he couldn’t win. It was better to take defeat with some dignity.
And, how can you miss the satirical punches in the book:
In fact, his father claimed that when a lawyer says something is “fairly straightforward,” then you’d better look out. It’s actually pretty complicated.
My main aim here is to talk about various qualities of the book without spilling beans about the content. Of course, some of them are inevitable.
The quotes above must have given you a fair idea about the book and its content.
So, if you love legal thrillers and want to jump into the real world seen from the eyes of an idealist and intelligent boy who try to do right things in realistic manner, this book is a worthy choice.
Around 8 stars out of 10.
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Over To You:
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