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A Book and a Hug

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The Best Man

Reviewed by Administrator on July 05, 2016.

This is the story of a boy named Archer Magill and two weddings.  On a hot August day Archer, age six, has made a plan to escape wedding number one.  Dressed in detested white velvet shorts, he finds a place to hide under the front porch. Yes, this involves dirt.   Before he knows it, someone else is under his porch and his plan wanders down the street alone without him.  What will his grandmother say when the dirt is discovered and the rip in the back of his shorts reveals he has chosen not to sport his undies on this fine day of days?

That's the first time Lynette Stanley will save Archer Magill's bacon and butt, though the latter did appear on You Tube, courtesy of many delighted wedding guests. 

Each year rolls around bringing bullies, friendships, opportunities for Lynette Stanley to keep an eye out for Archer, and finally, in the fifth grade, a very special student teacher named, Mr. McLeod.

 As we follow Archer through elementary school, we meet the three men in his life who are his role models.  There is his grandfather who walks him to school most mornings and who spent his life as an architect. There is Archer's fabulous dad who builds custom cars.  There is Archer's favorite uncle, Uncle Paul who makes amazing things happen.  Into this world comes Mr. McLeod who is fabulously gorgeous and has a heart the size of Texas.  

Archer is clearly searching for the clues to be the very best version of himself and he's watching his role models and figuring out what makes them all so unique and great.  There are some things to be learned at school and some things the world has to teach you and sometimes the two cross paths.  

Beautifully written with Richard Peck's classic tempo and rich characterizations.  Somehow this man can make you feel like you've picked up your house and put it down in a whole new part of the world and it's always, always a place where you want to stay and make yourself at home.  This is a place where a lot of answers can be found and where love is real and where you have the right to be yourself and love whomever is right for you.  Prejudice and discrimination have no place here.

978-0803738393  240 pages  Ages 9-12

If you Liked Wonder; If You Liked Five, Six, Seven Nate by Tim Federle

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

 
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