John Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill, was inspired by the actual testimony of a twelve year old rape victim at the De Soto County Courthouse. The novel was rejected by a number of publishers before finally being picked up for a modest advance. The film rights for A Time to Kill eventually sold for a reported six million dollars.
John Grisham has now joined the ranks of children's author. Penguin Young Readers Group in the U.S. and Hodder & Stoughton in the U.K. announced today that they will be publishing a middle-grade series that 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. Personally, I've really enjoyed Grisham's stories, though I found that his later work tended to beome a little formulaic. I hope his children's books are not the same, with just the protagonist's age being changed to 13 instead of 40.
Theo is scheduled to be released by Dutton Children's Books on May 25, and on June 10 by Hodder in the U.K. The second book, as yet untitled, is scheduled for release in 2011.