terça-feira, 25 de maio de 2010

Crítica "Theodore Boone" no USA Today

Foto: Bob Krasner

By Carol Memmott, USA Today

John Grisham's new legal thriller, like the 17 that preceded it, revolves around a heinous crime. This time a man is on trial for strangling his wife.
One big difference — it's written for kids ages 8 to 12.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (Dutton, $16.99), in stores today, is the best-selling author's first book for young readers.

"After the first dozen or so legal thrillers — or any type of book that you write over and over — you quite naturally begin wondering if you can do something else," says Grisham.

In 2001, after writing 11 legal thrillers, he wrote A Painted House, a novel inspired by his childhood in rural Arkansas. Other non-thrillers, including non-fiction, followed.

"I didn't know if I could write for kids," says Grisham, "but I had a good story. I think everything goes back to the story. And I've been thinking about this story about a 13-year-old lawyer. One thing led to the other."

Theodore Boone isn't your typical kid. The fact that he dreams of one day being a judge or a lawyer — his beloved mutt is named Judge — has a lot to do with the fact that both his parents practice law.

His idea of a good time is watching trials at the courthouse. He doles out free advice to his schoolmates on divorce, custody, bankruptcy and an impounded dog.

Suspense builds when Theo gains evidence that can prove an accused man did kill his wife. He's sworn to secrecy, but if he doesn't tell what he knows, the man could go free.

"I was really not sure how suspenseful or how frightening to make the story," says Grisham, 55, who was careful with how he depicted the murder. "I really worried about it. I devised a crime scene and tried to make it as mild or as tame as possible. I didn't want bloodshed. You don't want to scare 10-year-olds."

First printing for Theodore Boone is 1 million copies. Grisham hopes the book is popular and plans a series even though he knows his deviations from the adult legal thriller genre sometimes don't sell as well.

"What I've learned by doing other books is that there is a very loyal fan base of people who just love the legal thrillers. The sales numbers kind of bear that out."

Those fans don't have long to wait. Grisham's The Confession is due from Doubleday in October.

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