Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Best Man

Twelve-year-old Archer's story is bookended by two weddings.  He was six for the first one, and an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction keeps that day at the top of his list of most embarrassing moments, but it was also the day he met, Lynette.  She may or may not be his best friend, but she is definitely his bossiest friend.

When a new student teacher shows up at the end of fifth grade fresh from National Guard duty and in uniform, Archer's class, the town, and most of the midwest loses their collective minds.  Mr. McLeod is movie-star handsome, and he knows all kinds of amazing things.  He quickly becomes the star of the school and one of Archer's heroes.

Archer may be a little slower to pick up on details than other kids in his class, but the following summer he makes two discoveries; his Uncle Paul is gay, and he's dating Mr. McLeod!

Richard Peck's new book is hilarious.  I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud so much while reading a book.  But it's also a story about male role models from Archer's grandfather, the once great architect whose been hindered by a stroke to his goofy and loving father to his Uncle Paul who is smooth and sophisticated with an awesome job and now Mr. McLeod.  Peck presents all this without getting too mushy and emotional.  This one is already a hit with my students!

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