Thirteen-year-old Theodore Boone knows every judge, police officer, and court clerk in Strattenburg. He has even helped bring a fugitive to justice. But even a future star lawyer like Theo has to deal with statewide standardized testing.
When an anonymous tip leads the school board to investigate a suspicious increase in scores at another local middle school, Theo finds himself thrust in the middle of a cheating scandal. With insider knowledge and his future on the line, Theo must follow his keen instincts to do what’s right in the newest case for clever kid lawyer Theo Boone.
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Theodore Boone hasn’t ever been my favourite character nor have I ever felt that this was the best John Grisham can do. However, I have to admit that this is the first book in this series that I actually enjoyed reading thoroughly.
Theodore Boone may be a whiz kid and have a number of connections in the judicial world, but even he cannot escape the standardized tests no matter how much he dislikes them. Not only does he have to take the tests, but these tests also determine if he can take honor classes in High school. After all the preparations and grueling testing sessions, when the results are out, Theo is surprised and heartbroken to find out that he hasn’t made the cut for honor classes. That is when he hears about the scandal involving cheating the standardized tests. Theo brings in his mother to help when fraud charges are made against those who were involved when he realizes that he cannot be just a bystander in this case.
Like all John Grisham novels, this too is a fast paced and engaging book. I finished reading this book in one sitting. What I liked about this book was the questions and issues raised and discussed in this book, particularly about the standardized testing system that rules the lives of the students. The storyline is narrated in such a manner that those who have never spared a moment to think about it will be forced to stop and take notice. I never knew about how the standardized test results affect the teachers in turn as well. As such I found this book educative in other ways rather than just the courtroom procedures. I found Theo to be a bit more likeable in this book and April plays a big part in it all.
This was, I feel, the best Theodore Boone book so far and could interest not only young adults but also adults as well.
Review Copy received from Hachette India