I read this book over a period of about a month. I left it in the basement and every day while I was waiting for my cat to finish eating so I could give her an insulin shot, I would read a few pages. It was perfect for this purpose and I wish I had another book like this now.
Things that might disappoint you are:
-This is not a comic/graphic novel.
-It is not really set in the Archie universe so you won't see much of those beloved characters. There's a framing device where Kevin is telling the gang about when he was in middle school in a different town.
-No romance/boy on boy action of any kind, no kissing, no talking about crushes, no "I really like you," nothing!
But you might really like:
-The "gee whiz!" tone is very in keeping with all the "serious issue" Archie comics of the '70s and '80s. Although it deals with homophobia, bullying, parental neglect, and suicide, it's incredibly light and positive. I would have been in love with this book when I was eight years old because it covers important topics but in a very gentle and sugar-coated way. So keep this in mind for the bright but delicate children in your life.