Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham

Recommendation: *** (3-stars)

This is the second book in John Grisham's new kid series. This story focuses on Theodore and his best friend April who is kidnapped from her home during the night. The whole town of Strattenburg is fearful for young April. It is well known that her family life is not stable, but no one believes she would have run away.  Theo is desperate to find his friend and must use his investigative skills to help the police as they track down possible leads. I wasn't as enthralled with this story as I was the first book. I was disappointed that Theo didn't get to use his skills as a lawyer as much (more like an investigator). Mostly, I was disappointed because the story lacked the intensity of the first book, and the story line from the first book didn't continue as we were left with a huge cliffhanger. However, at the end of the book there is a hint that maybe the story line will continue in the next book.

Positives: A great book for a young mystery lover. While some of the story is predictable, there are plenty of interesting plot twists to keep young readers engaged. I also loved the comedy that was included in this story to balance the seriousness of the story. I loved when Theo went to animal court to "rescue" his friends parrot.

Negatives:  Theo and his friend are deceptive to their parents when they come up with a plan to rescue April. They justify it by saying their parents will be happy with the end result. I was glad to see that he did wrestle with this decision though.

Talking Points: Truth. It is a difficult thing these days for kids to grasp. They are being told from every which direction that there is no truth, or that they can create their own truth, and that truth is not important. We need to help them understand that there is a source of truth - God's Word (John 17:17) and that it is to be taken seriously. As I mentioned above, I was glad to see that Theo at least wrestled with misleading his parents, but ultimately he did choose the path of deception and that is never the right choice. We must help our children see and understand that truth is important because it is part of God's character. Jesus calls himself "truth" - it is what He is (John 14:6). The Bible is clear about how God feels about lying and deception as well. Read some of these passages and help your child understand the importance of truth (Ex. 20:16; Prov. 6:17; Prov. 12:19, 22; Titus 1:1-3; Heb. 6:18; Rev. 21:8) . While Theo was ultimately able to rescue his friend and it seems like everything worked out alright, we must teach our kids that disobedience to God's law never "works out alright."

Age Level: 8 years of age and up

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