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Theodore Boone - The Activist

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Joel Kim

on 10 April 2015

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Transcript of Theodore Boone - The Activist

As the city Strattenburg is caught
between a political and environmental
issue, 13 year old Theo finds himself
caught in all the action. As he discovers
how poorly money is being spent,
Theodore Boone will do whatever he is
capable of to fight for what is right.
Title and Book Cover Analyzation
Unique author and title placement/layout and all in caps to pop out to readers.
The book took place around present time, and all the events in the book were in Strattenburg City. In Strattenburg the setting was very versatile, it is hard to pinpoint any main setting. In the beginning the first event was in Theo's school, where his music teacher got fired because school budgets were being cut due to the bypass. Then mostly the main settings were the courtroom, hospital and Theo's house. Since Strattenburg is a fictional city, there is no history or significance mentioned in the book.
The main and secondary characters are Theodore Boone, Sebastian Ryan, Theo's mom, Theo's dad, Hardie and the people who attempted to helped the bypass to be built. Since this is the fourth book of the series, there are no physical features mentioned in here other than the characters that are introduced in only this book.
Reading Strategies
The 2 main reading strategies I used was visualizing and inferring. Visualizing what I am reading helps me understand whats happening in the book and also it makes the story much more realistic and interesting. For example page 148 it says “Theo was asleep in one corner, curled into an awkward position on top of a sleeping bag his father has brought. Ike had somehow managed to fall asleep sitting in a chair with his feet propped up.” When I first read this I was a bit confused, but then I visualized the room and how Theo was positioned, curled up in a ball in a sleeping bag. And Ike, I visualized him sitting in an extremely awkward position with his feet up in the air and then I understood it better.
John Grisham
Honestly, "The Activist" was my least favorite out of the four books. In "The Activist" the problem is less action packed than the other books, like "The Abduction" where Theo's friend April gets abducted. The themes were perseverance and integrity because while Theo was trying to stop the bypass, he came close to giving up but he persevered. Also he was fighting the bypass because he knew it was corrupt and he knew it was the right thing to do. My favorite scene was when Theo sued the men who beat his dog and sent them to jail, that was very satisfying. If I were to change one thing in the book I would build up more suspense for the ending. In my opinion, John Grisham did not make the final trial intense enough but other than that it was a great book for the problem and I would defiantly recommend the series to anyone who likes detective shows and/or is interested in becoming a lawyer. Final rating would be a 6/10 for a simple reason, if the problem doesn't intrigue me then the story becomes much less interesting and in my opinion, a kid fighting an environmental issue isn't action packed enough.
Theodore Boone - The Activist
Author: John Grisham
Book Talk By: Joel

Proves that this book is worth your time
Theo raising his fist as
if he were celebrating.
Authors name in the photo
Book series and book title in a different background showing contrast
The government along with business men, politicians and truckers wanted to build a bypass through the city that not only costs hundreds of millions, but it will also plow through many farms and will be built dangerously close to a middle school. A bypass is a road passing around town usually to avoid major traffic, but in this case it just saves drivers about 5 minutes as they go through Strattenberg. A short excerpt that introduces the problem: She finally stopped at a show called Strattenburg Today, a badly run news recap of the hot stories in town, if in fact there were any hot stories. Usually there were not. She hit the volume and suddenly they were looking at the plastic smiling face of their governor. The voice-over from an unseen reporter said: "Governor Waffler was in town today to announce a new plan to finally build the Red Creek Bypass, an eight-mile loop around the city that will cost two hundred million dollars and has been hotly debated for many years. "
Rising Action
Theodore Boone decided to take action to try and stop the costly and inefficient bypass. He formed a team who consisted of angry farm owners, angry parents whose kids went to the middle school that was being affected and an environmental firm called SEC.
This event happened on a farm of Theo's friend Hardie. Hardie was showing Theo around but as that was happening, construction men were also at the farm planning the construction of the bypass as if the bypass being built was inevitable. Theo and Hardie kindly told them to leave because this was private property so the men out of anger yelled and threatened them. Theo's dog, Judge saw and ran to defend so the men beat the dog almost to death. Then the men walked away, laughing. A short excerpt after the men beat Theo's dog Judge is:
Theo cradled his dog and gently lifted him. He had blood all over his head and his body was limp. "Talk to me, Judge," Theo pleaded through tears.
Hardie screamed at the men, "You'll pay for this."
Theo began running. He clutched Judge to his chest and ran past his bike, because he knew he couldn't ride it and hold Judge at the same time.
Falling Action
Theo and his team go to fight the people who want the bypass in court, where both sides presented their arguments.
After the 5 judges heard both sides of the argument, 2 judges decided to allow the bypass, and 2 decided to overrule the bypass. It was all up to the last judge. Theo's heart was pumping, everything that he has worked for was either going to be all for waste or it would pay off. Ha I am not going to tell you what the final judge said! An excerpt that summarizes the voting process is: "The vote will be a simple Yes to approve the bypass and no if you do not approve the project. Approval by a simply majority. Mr. Stak?"
"Mr. Grimes?"
"Mr. Cerroni?"
Mr. McGrey?"
Mr. Mcgrey was rubbing his white whiskers, troubled and deep in thought. With a scratchy voice he finally said, "No."
Theodore Boone
(Main Character)
Theo is very gifted and skilled, Theo was surrounded with law all his life because his parents are both lawyers, therefore being a lawyer was his passion and his hobby. He has won many court trials. Theo is also a leader, his role in the book is to lead his group to fight against the bypass being built. Physical features were mentioned in the first book "Kid Lawyer" so I won't be stating exactly what John Grisham said but Theo has brown hair, brown eyes, short and skinny. As for his personality, he is defiantly ambitious meaning what he wants, he will get. He is also funny and has a great amount of knowledge in law and lawyers.
Ike Boone
(Secondary Character)
Ike is Theo's uncle, he is very smart and funny. He would always make Theo laugh when Theo comes over. He is very positive and overall just a nice guy. His role is undetermined, hes more of a character added into the story with no purpose but to make the story funnier. For example he said "Hows my favorite nephew?" when Theo is the only nephew that Ike has.
Mrs. Boone
(Secondary Character)
Mrs. Boone is Theo's mom. She is a divorce lawyer who supported Theo and his movement to stop the bypass. In the book she said "The bypass only saves truckers 5 minutes through Strattenburg" She is very kind and forgiving, usually the one to revoke punishments that Mr. Boone makes. Her role is to be a mother to Theo and support him.
Mr. Boone
(Secondary Character)
Mr. Boone is Theo's dad. He is a real-estate lawyer who wants the bypass to happen. He didn't defend the bypass in court but he did not like that Theo was trying to stop it. He's mostly strict but he does love Theo and overall he's a good dad. Obviously his role is to be a dad to Theo.

(Secondary Character)
Theo's friend, his family owns a farm that the bypass would rip through if it was built. He is very thankful and kind to Theo because of his bravery. His role is to help Theo to prevent the bypass from occurring.
I inferred what was going to happen based off the information that I have been given. For example in the book the bypass was described as "Costs millions, lot more noise in the city, destroy many family owned farms, shave off a huge chunk of many soccer fields just to save 5 minutes of driving. Personally I thought this was ridiculous so I inferred that the bypass wouldn't be built. Inferration is not only an effective way to apply your knowledge, but It motivates you to read the book to see if what you inferred was correct.
John Grisham graduated from the Mississippi State University before attending University of Mississippi School of Law. He practiced criminal law for about a decade and has served in the House of Representatives. Which is probably what sparked his imagination to create the Theodore Boone seires later on in his life. After John Grisham wrote his second book, "The Firm" he made about 684k, he decided to retire law and become a full time writer after that.
Writing Career
His First Book
As John Grisham was hanging around a court he overheard a little girls story, and he was intrigued. His heart sunk when he heard how this girl was raped, abused and beaten so he stuck around to watch the trial. This inspired him to write "A Time To Kill". John struggled to find a publisher who would take his story. But after the book was rejected 28 times, an unknown publisher named Wynwood Press accepted John Grisham's story.
Writing Career
His Second Book
The day after he finished "A Time To Kill", he started to work on "The Firm". Which ended up to be a huge success. After he got "The Firm" published it stayed on the New York Times bestseller for 47 weeks, became bestselling novel in 1991 and he made a fortune. That's when he decided to quit law and become a full time writer.
Other Books
Although "The Firm" was the book that skyrocketed John Grishams reputation as a writer he also made many other great books like the Theodore Boone series. There are four books in the Theodore Boone series, my personal favorite is "The Accused" but all of them are genuinely fun to read.
I would start with "Kid Lawyer" because that's the first book and all the characters get introduced there. Then I would read "The Abduction" because that's the most action packed. Then if you're still interested in the series read "The Accused" then finally "The Activist."
Theo's mom said "Well, in this case, the bypass is a road to nowhere that will cost two hundred million dollars and allow truckers to save about 5 minutes as they travel through Strattenburg." This shows that Mrs. Boone does not support the bypass and how absurdly expensive and inefficient it is.
After Theo's dog, Judge got beaten almost to death, Theo wanted to quit because the depression he was having. Then Mrs. Boone told Theo "Quitting is not the answer. Life is not fair, and you can't quit every time something unfair happens to you.” This tells the role of Theo's mom other than being a parent, her role is to support Theo.
The focal point is John Grisham's name and then the title and book series because my eyes tend to look towards solid colors. Every book in the series is like this, A dark scene which the colors are non defined so the book title, book series and the author popped out.
Sebastian Ryan
(Secondary Character)
He is he head for an environmental agency called SEC (Stratten Environmental Council) His role was to help Theo beat the truckers and polititians who wanted the bypass. In the book he is described as young, not yet in his 40's, and with his jeans and boots he looked like a hunting guide, not an environmental lawyer. He is also ambitious and he is good at being a lawyer, in the final trial he wanted Theo to be the last speaker and convince the judges that the bypass is a bad idea. This shows he believes in Theo and he is kind.
Cooperate lawyers, politicians and anyone who supported the bypass
There were no set antagonist, just anyone who supported and actually helped to create the bypass were the antagonists. There were also a couple of cooperate lawyers named Lucas Grimes and Chuck Cerroni who were hired by politicians who went against Theo and Sebastian Ryan in court to save the bypass. But they were only in the final trial and were not described.
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