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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

"Narrator Michael Crouch is a natural with kid voices.... Listeners will relate, whether they're all grown up or still growing." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 of 1 people found this review 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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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!

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Loved it. Great Story and Narration

What did you love best about The Best Man?

It was good ole homespun fabulousness and a great story. Very funny and a truly moving ending thathad me wiping away a tear.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Archer Magill. With a name like that, he was born to be a star! And he is.

What about Michael Crouch’s performance did you like?

Mr. Crouch truly embodies the characters he voices--in this case, a (younger) teenage boy--with such aplomb and conviction that you cannot help but be charmed by him and his performance. I've listened to a lot of his books and this is one of his finest. I laughed and cried, not just because of the source material, but because of his performance.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Idols Come In All Forms, Many Unexpected.

Any additional comments?

Can we just admit to ourselves that Michael Crouch should be narrating all of our lives?

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A great listen for the whole family!

We listened to this as a family on a road trip. Our 9 and 11 year olds loved it and the topics of transition and identity made for great discussion starters.

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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.