Hi all, this next book review is by far one of the best stories I have read!! I don’t give this accolade to every book I read, but this one impacted me profoundly in ways I had never imagined it would. So, have a read and let me know if you agree or not.
Title: The Best Man
Author: Richard Peck
Genre: Fiction – contemporary
Publication details: Dial Books for Young Readers; NY, 2016
What this book is about: Archer Magill has spent five years of elementary school on the lookout for role models. Three of the best are in his own family: his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great car remodeler; and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. These are the three he wants to be. Along the way he finds a fourth: Mr McLeod, a truly great teacher. And one who becomes a bit of a celebrity – along with his army dog Angus. But now here comes middle school, and a whole lot of change. Archer wonders how much change has to happen before his voice does! He doesn’t see too far ahead (even though he’s always watching), and so he regularly seems to be taken by surprise. Then a really big surprise when he’s the best man at the wedding of two of his role models. But that gets ahead of the story. In pages that rippled with laughter, there are a few tears as well. And plenty of insights about the bewildering world of adults, made by a boy on his way to becoming the best man he can be.
My review: Most of this book had me in uncontrollable fits of giggles and the other parts had me in tears!! Filled with generous amounts of humour, sadness and good-old-fashioned middle school drama, this book won’t disappoint. It hits on some pretty serious topics: bullying for one, expertly explained and managed; loss of loved ones and how grief is shared by all in the family; homosexuality and its implications on one’s identity. For me, these were all expertly drawn out and explained in Archer’s unique voice. I really loved all the characters and they will live in my memory banks for a while!! The story-line has been created by Richard Peck into something that will never be forgotten!!
My rating: 5 ⭐
Additional notes: This title was nominated for the Texas Bluebonnet award and the Boston Globe-Horn book award for fiction in 2017.