The Best Man
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 pages 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.
In addition to great family characters, Archer is surrounded by interesting teachers and classmates. Lynnette is forthright, no nonsense, and able to stand up to anyone who gives Archer a hard time. When her mother becomes their teacher, she is able to compartmentalize herself and not be bothered by this. Mr. McCleod is a great teacher without being overly sentimentalized.
The big talking point of the book will be that Archer realizes (much after everyone else) that his favorite uncle is gay, but this really wasn't main point of the story. Yes, the uncle gets married to a man, but this was addressed in such a supportive and accepting way that it was never an "issue". It was just life. The fact that the topic is raised in the book will still upset people, which is too bad. If all families were able to weather their difficulties with the grace and fortitude of Archer's family, the world would be a better place.
The Best Man is a great choice for readers who can handle quiet but interesting books that emphasize the importance of family, such as Connor's All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Graff's Lost in the Sun, or Messner's The Seventh Wish.