Many adult fiction writers have turned to the Young Adult market. In many cases they are not well suited to this. I'm delighted to be able to say that Grisham has been quite successful in writing for adolescents. His main character, Theodore Boone, is quite believable and engaging. The character development makes it quite believable that he would be a "kid lawyer" (his parents are both lawyers). Theodore makes good decisions about what sorts of legal advising he is capable of offering and appropriately calls for adult help when the legal issues or "threat level" are beyond him. I appreciate YA authors who include adults in roles that show adolescents that an adult can be supportive and that sometimes they are necessary.
The plot twists in the novel are fairly typical Grisham. In this book issues of undocumented workers and their relationships with the legal system are explored. Grisham does a good job of presenting both sides of the issue in a realistic way. (There is also, of course, a murder--the undocumented worker are not to blame!)
I found Grisham's understanding of adolescents unusually perceptive. He is able to create a believable "gifted" young lawyer while retaining believable characteristics. His portrayal of other adolescents and the school context was "right on."
I will probably be reading subsequent books in the series.