Remembering the Good Times

by Richard Peck

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 239

Richard Peck is well known for his works in which young adults confront personal problems such as rape, divorce, peer pressure, suicide, and the pains of growing up. In Remembering the Good Times, Kate Lucas, Trav Kirby, and Buck Mendenhall are three close friends who must deal with several of these problems. Although Kate and Buck had met before, the two form a close friendship with Trav when the three of them begin eighth grade together. From then until the beginning of their sophomore year in high school, they are almost inseparable in spite of school plays, debate teams, freshman football, and Skeeter Calhoun who is the school bully. As they struggle through adolescence, their community is also struggling through change from a rural township to suburban sprawl. Kate and Buck adjust, but Trav seems lost under the pressures to achieve and succeed.

In this critically acclaimed novel, Peck's writing reflects many of the characteristics for which he has become famous and popular among young adult readers. He is perceptive and has an ability to describe the lives of teenagers accurately, sometimes humorously, and always without preaching. Yet there is also an emotional depth to this novel that goes beyond the mere telling of a story. Peck creates characters that are so interesting and so believable that readers truly care about them. Because of this, many readers may be as unprepared for the ending as are the characters themselves.

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