Archer Magill narrates the story of his elementary school years from the starting point of having to be a ring bearer in the wedding of the daughter of his grandmother's friend at the age of 6. This is important because it is where he meets his friend Lynnette. Being friends with a girl can be trouble at times, but they manage to work it out.
The story goes on in short episodic bursts through first, second, third and fourth grades, slowing down a bit for some big events in the fifth grade: most notably, the arrival of the student teacher Mr. McLeod. Mr. McLeod's arrival is accompanied by some crazy events that include world-wide press coverage.
And then, there is the bullying incident involving the sixth grade boys on their last day of school. Mr. McLeod decides that they must be held accountable, and he helps the fifth grade boys in an unexpected way. This, of course, leads to more discussions in Archer's family about the amazing Mr. McLeod, whom, it turns out, may become part of Archer's family by marrying his uncle.
The Best Man (Lexile: 540; Interest Level: Grades 4-6) by Richard Peck takes on some tough issues for upper grade readers, especially those of growing up, choosing role models, being bullied, and understanding love--of both oneself and each other. I would recommend this book to others to are interested in how other children experience life. (240 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.