The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall
Arthur loses his cool and throw a brick at the “junk man”. What made him lose it? The “junk man” was wearing Arthur’s dad’s hat. Arthur’s dad was killed in a car accident a few months ago and his mom got rid of all his dad’s things while Arthur was gone one day.
Arthur spends some time in juvie but his overall punishment is to be the junk man’s assistant for the duration of his community service hours.
Arthur finds random lists left for him and he must go throughout the neighborhood looking through the trash to find the items. He sees no rhyme or reason for the things he’s collecting but is there a deeper meaning behind all of it? Who exactly is the “Junk Man”?
I’ve been reading a lot of YA books lately so I had to remind myself that this book is for middle grades. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just is a different tempo of a story. I also had to remind myself that this book is historical fiction. It is set in the 1960’s and after some research, I found out it is based on the life of James Hampton, a famous artist who used scraps to create his life’s work, The Throne of the Third Heaven. The time period did not play a big part in this book for me, but it definitely has it’s place.
I found The Seventh Most Important Thing to be an easy read that I enjoyed. I think it is an important lesson for children to learn that one mistake can make a big impact on your life. It’s also important for students to know that sometimes mistakes help you learn the most in the long run. It’s a great book for upper middle grades.