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Theodore Boone: The Scandal (edizione 2016)
di John Grisham (Autore)
Theodore Boone: The Scandal di John Grisham
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Somehow I'd managed to miss that Grisham had this YA series. From one standpoint, with two lawyer parents, it is believable that their son Theo would have an interest in law. I haven't read the other books in the series and perhaps they explain it better, but I failed to understand why Theo had his own "office" at his parents's offices. (Perhaps it was just a room that was his to use that he thought of as his office, but if so, that wasn't really explained.)
I did like that Theo seems to know when to go to adults for help rather than trying to keep secrets from them as so many YA main characters do. Yes, he does keep some secrets, but not for long and usually not dangerous secrets. I liked that Theo went to his parents and owned up to skipping school--I was surprised that Ike or one of the police couldn't give Theo a note to take to school--of course, he still would have been skipping since he didn't go back right away, but chose to help April instead. I have to say though that what's going on with April seems to require more than a 13 year old's help overall.
I've taken standardized tests but not the same type as what they have now. I'm not sure the tracks at my school back then were decided in the same way that they are here. At the time, we seemed to have a college-track and a non-college track and vocational tracks. There were some honors classes--I remember math and English being two where we had AP (Advance Placement) classes available. At that time you could take the class, then take a test and if you scored high enough on the AP test you could get college credit for the course. Sounds different than what Theo's schools had in place.
I think back then, if April had shown an aptitude in art then she could have taken more advanced art classes without having to be in the Honors program--makes me wonder if the kids have some skewed version on their high school system if being one point away from Honors keeps them from certain art classes when a high school teacher sees their potential. Or maybe April isn't as good at art as she thinks she is?
There's a lot of repetition in the book. At one point Theo (or the narrator) tells us about his family's dining schedule. Then we're told about it a few more times throughout the book. I think the first time is when they decide to break their schedule and have Chinese takeout two days in a row. But then later in the book, twice I think, Theo mentions that on such and such a night it is their "night" to go to Omar's restaurant, and I think one other time it is mentioned that because it is such-and-such-day, they traditionally go to x type of restaurant and so they do. By the time the last mention rolled around, I was screaming "enough, I get it, they have a restaurant rotation schedule".
A quick and breezy read, I finished this book in a few hours. OK book for a summer read, although I still find Theodore's speech too adult. Heart of it is when teachers cheat for the school, is that a crime?
The Boone family is a little too perfect for my tastes (lawyer parents, want-to-be-lawyer only child who is overly wise when it comes to giving advice to other kids, member of the Boy Scouts, church on Sunday, serving at the soup kitchen every Tuesday, etc.). I think middle schoolers will look past all this, though, especially since Theo does a few not-so-perfect things. His parents agree to represent five teachers who altered standardized test scores at their school and were arrested. His parents argue that it was wrong, but not a criminal act. As a teacher, this case bothered me because it's happened in real life, too, and I think it's disgusting that teachers/administrators have cheated. However, the book did a balanced job of presenting both sides and it will get kids thinking and debating.
I think I've read all of John Grisham's books that are not his original red meat: legal suspense novels. I should probably try those someday; I like his other stuff. I quite like his Young Adult series, Theodore Boone, with the title character a 13-year-old aspiring lawyer who gets involved in the legal and criminal contretemps of the adult world around him. In this one he becomes embroiled in a cheating scandal in his school district, in which some teachers of a sub-performing school become so desperate that they juice their school's achievement test scores by correcting the answers while grading them. An interesting idea taken from current controversies, but I think Grisham tends to play these stories a bit too safe, only giving them superficial treatment. He should have more faith in his target audience; he's shown that he's capable of fully exploring dark and complex themes.
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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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Sistema Decimale Melvil (DDC)813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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Aimed at teenagers but would have thought many would be bored? ( )