Read about the children's and young adult books that I read.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The Abduction by John Grisham
This is John Grisham's second book about Theodore Boone, a 13-year-old lawyer wannabe who gets involved in solving crimes in his hometown. In this story one of Theo's best friends, an 8th grader named April, disappears in the night from her home. It is assumed that she has been kidnapped—possibly by a distant relative who recently escaped from prison. The police don't want Theo's help with the case, but Theo can't resist getting involved. While the police track down the escaped criminal and look for bodies in the river, Theo follows another lead and finds April himself. I think some kids might like this book but it lacks the complexity and intelligence of many kids' spy books. It rambles on at times (what was up with the animal court story?) and in the end the plot is pretty simple. I don't believe that the police wouldn't have tried to track down April's father in another state. If they had the crime would have been solved very quickly. I get the feeling that John Grisham is churning these books out without giving them the attention he gives to his adult books. This is a shame, because middle school kids are smart and they can handle action, suspense, and complexity. Grisham also throws in references to booze and gambling and fraternity houses that were jarring to me. I recommend this book to younger middle school readers who want a mystery that won't require too much thinking.