I loved reading John Grisham suspense novels during high school, college and beyond so I was eager to read his series for younger readers.
I won't be recommending this series yet to my nine year old (see warnings/points to discuss).
Both of Theo's parents are lawyers so he spends a lot of time hearing the law and hanging around the courtroom. He even offers legal advice to his classmates and even school employees!
Then an unknown witness to a murder shares vital information with Theo . . .while the trial is occurring. Theo must think and act quickly or the murderer may walk as a free man.
The book does not end with a neat conclusion.
Very exciting and well written. I was not disappointed!
I also like Theo's kind heart and how his family is willing to help the less fortunate (they serve meals and offer legal services/tutoring in a soup kitchen).
Guided Reading Level: W (5th/6th grade)
Grade Level Equivalent: 5.2
Warnings/points to discuss: Mentions a couple of characters abusing drugs, Uncle Ike drinks excessively, Theo's dad smokes a pipe, His best friend April is enduring a divorce and parents are fighting for custody -both parents have been neglectful, Theo has a crush on a courthouse employee and begins to notice a girl in his class (nothing sexual or inappropriate), the murder is described, murder, illegal immigrants