The Best Man

the-best-manWritten by Richard Peck

Eleven-year-old Archer Magill has 3 role models in his life: his Dad, the great car re-modeler; his Grandpa, the great architect; and his Uncle Paul, who is just plain great. Then, in his 5th grade year, the student teacher assigned to his class, Mr. McLeod, becomes Archer’s 4th. In the book The Best Man, Archer tell his story with all its ups and downs over the last five years, beginning with a wedding fiasco and ending with a wedding of two of his favorite people. Richard Peck has once again masterfully written a wonderful coming of age story about family, love, friendship, and acceptance. The story is told in an easy flowing style that is full of heart, humor and a tear or two. The characters are so incredibly believable and true to life. Mr. Peck also handles the issue of gays and gay marriage in a tasteful, sensitive, matter-of-fact manner, that is not political or sensationalized. And though this is part of the story, the author has done such an amazing job of setting up strong family ties with what I have mentioned (love, friendship and acceptance) beforehand, that it does not stand out as a focal point; the family does instead. I would encourage those who deal with elementary age children to read this book first so that you can see for yourselves. The recommended age level from Common Sense Media is 9+.

Review by Renee Larsen, Hillside Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-7

The Best Man
Written by Richard Peck
Dial Books for Young Readers
232 pages
Release Date: September 20, 2016
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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