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Publisher's Summary

Newbery Medalist Richard Peck tells a story of small-town life, gay marriage, and everyday heroes in this novel for fans of Gary Schmidt and Jack Gantos.

Archer Magill has spent a lively five years of grade school with one eye out in search of grown-up role models. Three of the best are his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer; 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 teacher. In fact the first male teacher in the history of the school.

But now here comes middle school and puberty. Change. Archer wonders how much change has to happen before his voice does. He doesn't see too far ahead, so every day or so a startling revelation breaks over him. Then a really big one when he's the best man at the wedding of two of his role models. But that gets ahead of the story.

In minutes that ripple with laughter, there's a teardrop here and there. And more than a few insights about the bewildering world of adults, made by a boy on his way to being the best man he can be.

©2016 Richard Peck (P)2016 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

“Peck is at heart a gentle realist, a keen observer of family dynamics who uses the soft power of understated emotion to tack social issues. His latest middle grade novel, The Best Man is ... a reminder that no matter your gender or sexuality, love is love is love.” (The New York Times Book Review)

"A nostalgic slice of Rockwell Americana with a contemporary filling. Delicious - take a bite." (Kirkus, starred review)

"An indelible portrait of what it looks like to grow up in an age of viral videos and media frenzies, undergirded by the same powerful sense of family that characterizes so much of Peck's work." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

What listeners say about The Best Man

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Sweet story

I chose this book because I like Michael Crouch as a narrator and I’m glad I did! It was such a sweet and funny story told from a unique perspective.

2 people found this helpful

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Refreshing story!

What a refreshing story and a great perspective to hear it from. A sad when the book was finally over.

1 person found this helpful

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The Best Story

The Best Man is a sweet modern version of Happily Ever After! Michael Crouch's skillful heart felt rendering of the wonderful Archer and his world made me care about this unique cast of characters. The story is funny and sad and needs to be told.

1 person found this helpful

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Relationship OVER Orientation

The relationship the main character has with his uncle goes beyond the uncle's orientation. He learns respect, trust, and confidence from him, as well as how to be there when it counts. I hope my daughter has the same relationship with her Guncle as she grows up!

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actually quite enjoyable

It's about a young boy growing up. It's really quite funny and surprisingly good. The narration was really very well done. The characters had real heart. You wouldn't think it but these young people understand a lot more than we give them credit for. anyway, good book.

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worst Richard Peck book ever

not a good story. it's just a simple kid growing up and finding out that his uncle and one of his teachers are gay

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Great story

It’s a wonderful story but I wish it wasn’t so practical. But I think it is a great coming of age story.

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Great Book to share

We had three generations reading this book. My 11 YO granddaughter has read it 5 times and listened to it with me twice

It just provides so much to talk about. We loved it!

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Great story

Once again Michael Crouch brings a great story to life. I cared for all the characters and wanted to be another Uncle in the family.

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No way

This book was my favorite bluebonnet book. Bluebonnet is where we read 20 books and compete on questions against other schools. So this book is my favorite of all twenty!