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The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley…
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The Seventh Most Important Thing

by Shelley Pearsall

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#2017-18 VRC Book
  SummerReadsLMS | May 30, 2017 |
This was one of the "Battle of the Books" (BOB) books for 2016/2017. It is based off of a real art display in the Smithsonian American Art museum. Arthur is a 13 year old boy who in a moment of anger makes a dumb decision. Afterwards, he is sentenced to community service rather than going back to juvie to atone for what he has done.
This puts him in contact with "The Junk Man" who he has to help with his special project. This involves going through people's trash looking for the "The Seven Most Important Things." Along the way, Arthur gets to learn more about himself and he also changes some of his pre-conceived notions about people.

I really enjoyed this novel. It was a pretty quick read, but also left me thinking and feeling like I had learned something. It is definitely something junior high kids could read. Aside from a few curse words, and references to a drunk driving accident there is nothing inappropriate or that would be hard for kids to deal with. ( )
  dingesa27 | Dec 6, 2016 |
This is a fictionalized account about the artist James Hampton and his work of art called "The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millenium General Assembly" which is currently on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. After reading the story, I am thoroughly intrigued by the work of art and I 'd like to find a way to get to see it in person! ( )
  asomers | Sep 28, 2016 |
Arthur T. Owens is a kid whose life could have really gone off the rails after he makes a bad decision from his grief and throws a rock at an old man in the neighborhood who is wearing his deceased father's hat. Instead of wanting him punished, the Junk Man asks for Arthur to be assigned to him for probation. When he reports for his first day, Arthur finds that he is tasked to find the "Seven Most Important Things" As he continues to do his time, Arthur changes, heals, grows, and thinks about redemption.
Charming.
I really wish I could see the piece of art that the group created! ( )
  ewyatt | Sep 6, 2016 |
When Arthur throws a brick at the Junk Man and severely injures him, his life is turned upside down. Or was it turned upside down before that? After spending time in juvie, it's Arthur's chance to plead his case in front of a judge. It turns out, there was a reason Arthur threw the brick.

As part of his punishment, Arthur must work for the Junk Man, an eccentric man who wanders the neighborhood picking through people's garbage. At first, Arthur is horrified and confused when he gets his assignment: to help the Junk Man find the seven most important things. Arthur must now put himself in the Junk Man's shoes and search through things people have thrown away to find what seems like a random list of items. But is it really?

Through his time spent working for the Junk Man, Arthur learns valuable lessons about friendship and trying to see things from other points of view. He learns that one person's trash is another person's treasure, and he finds the strength to fight for what's right.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to kids in 4th - 8th grade. I think kids will be hooked by the premise and will want to read it to find out why Arthur threw the brick. It tackles some tough issues like death and our perception of the homeless. Fans of Wendy Mass and Louis Sachar will enjoy. -EC ( )
  WhitneyYPL | Apr 6, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553497286, Hardcover)

One Kid. One Crime. One Chance to Make Things Right.
 
It was a bitterly cold day when Arthur T. Owens grabbed a brick and hurled it at the trash picker. Arthur had his reasons, and the brick hit the Junk Man in the arm, not the head. But none of that matters to the judge—he is ready to send Arthur to juvie for the foreseeable future. Amazingly, it’s the Junk Man himself who offers an alternative: 120 hours of community service . . . working for him.
 
Arthur is given a rickety shopping cart and a list of the Seven Most Important Things: glass bottles, foil, cardboard, pieces of wood, lightbulbs, coffee cans, and mirrors. He can’t believe it—is he really supposed to rummage through people’s trash? But it isn’t long before Arthur realizes there’s more to the Junk Man than meets the eye, and the “trash” he’s collecting is being transformed into something more precious than anyone could imagine. . . .
 
Inspired by the work of American folk artist James Hampton, award-winning author Shelley Pearsall has crafted an affecting and redemptive novel about discovering what shines within us all, even when life seems full of darkness.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 12 Jul 2015 16:36:22 -0400)

"In 1963, thirteen-year-old Arthur is sentenced to community service helping the neighborhood Junk Man after he throws a brick at the old man's head in a moment of rage, but the junk he collects might be more important than he suspects. Inspired by the work of American folk artist James Hampton"--… (more)

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