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Guest blog: John Grisham tackles children's books

With John Grisham taking aim at kids, will other big names follow suit?

By Rebekah Denn / March 1, 2010

John Grisham's new series for kids will feature "Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer"

Doubleday/AP

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I remember devouring Agatha Christie books as a kid, but no one ever suggested that murder mysteries were meant for my age group. Today’s kids, though, are about to get a new series by bestselling thriller author John Grisham, aimed at 8- to 12-year-old “tweens.” Publishers Weekly reported that the series “will focus on 13-year-old Theodore Boone, a legal whiz kid. In the first book, 'Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer,' Theo gets caught up in a high-profile murder trial in his town.”

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Whew. That’s a long way from Encyclopedia Brown.

The Guardian noted that “Many a literary name – from Ted Hughes and T.S. Eliot to Booker winners Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Ian McEwan and Peter Carey – has written for children in the past. Big-name commercial novelists going after the youth market are rather rarer,” although James Patterson, among others, have done so.

New York Magazine responded to the news by suggesting, “Somewhere, a writer for The Onion is balling up a piece of paper and angrily tossing it into the trash, right?” However, the article went on, perhaps Grisham is on to something. Here are a few lines from their suggestions for other bestselling authors looking to capture the kid market:

Danielle Steel's “Seraphina Skye: Kid Gold Digger”


Patricia Cornwell's “Katie-Sue Scarpetta: Kid Coroner”


Sarah Palin's “Bricklyn Pale: Kid Who Goes Rogue”


Jon Krakauer's “Kid With a Serious Death Wish”


Malcolm Gladwell's “Sebastian Buckley: Kid Explainer of the Obvious”

Any others to add to the list?

Rebekah Denn blogs at eatallaboutit.com.

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