Audiobook Review: “Theodore Boone: The Activist” by John Grisham


Audiobook Review: “Theodore Boone: The Activist”

by John Grisham

Read by Richard Thomas

Published by Penguin Audio

Approx. 6 hours



John Grisham is well known for his attorney novels such as; “The Rainmaker,” “The Pelican Brief,” “The Client” and others and has great success with that genre. Within the last few years Grisham has branched out into the Young Adult market with his Theodore Boone series of books.


Theodore Boone 13 years old is the son of two lawyers and practices law for the kids his age. I guess practices law is a bit much, he pretty much just passes on legal advice on such things as rescuing impounded animals and, in the case of this story, how to fight the politicians. Basically, Theodore Boone is the “Encyclopedia Brown” in the modern age. This time around the cases are solved in the court system, actually from a former closet-turned-office inside Theodore’s parents’ law office. In this book the big concern is; eminent domain.


In Theodore’s hometown the politicians have decided to start building a bypass. At first this seems logical in that the bypass will allow a congested area of town to become free of trucks moving through town, but on closer inspection the bypass will take out a good chunk of the town’s soccer fields, displace many residence and allow for the trucks to belch out noxious exhaust fumes within yards of an elementary school, not to mention the traffic hazards so close to the school.


Along with fighting the system in order to keep his hometown bypass free Theodore Boone is also a normal 13 year-old boy. He still has to be a boy scout, and as a leader of his group he is supposed to keep the boys safe, but an encounter with a copperhead snake threatens that security, Theodore learns what it means to be responsible.


Politicians and copperhead snakes are what Theodore Boone is up against in this, the fourth novel in the Theodore Boone series by John Grisham. Grisham writes these young adult fiction novels with the same intrigue as any of his other legal novels but with characters and events that will fascinate and captivate readers age nine to ninety. Theodore’s relationship with his parents, friends and community members is very realistic and is the driving force behind this book.


What also keeps this audiobook worth hearing is that it is read by Richard Thomas. Yes, John Boy from the Waltons delivers this audiobook and does so with so much personality that you’d think this was his life he was talking about. In all actuality, I think Richard Thomas could read the phone book and I’d listen and not be able to stop until the very end. His voice during the narration makes the listener feel at home in the story,and his ability to extend the character’s psyche into the delivery within the dialogue makes this a completely enjoyable audiobook.