When 14-year-old Arthur T. Owens throws a brick at an old trash picker known as the Junk Man, he is forced to work for the victim as punishment. As Arthur searches for the things on the Junk Man’s assigned list of Seven Most Important Things, he comes closer to uncovering the Junk Man’s secret project and closer to understanding how redemption can be found in the unlikeliest of places.
Description taken from Goodreads.
I fell in love with THE SEVENTH MOST IMPORTANT THING. Sure, the brick-to-the-head because of rage argument was a little implausible, but hey–sometimes people do things that are implausible.
THE SEVENTH MOST IMPORTANT THING was a really surprising book for me. While there are little to no world-building and setting descriptions in this book, this is historical fiction. It’s a story that I was unfamiliar with, and I feel like Pearsall really did a lot with. I was impressed by the way that, besides the brick incident, Pearsall explained the characters of the Junk Man and Arthur. These two people are big gifts in small, unexpected packages, and they were really well done.
Other than the lack of historical setting in a historical fiction novel, THE SEVENTH MOST IMPORTANT THING was really well-written and enjoyable. There’s also a lot of growth that happens over the course of this novel. For those of you who enjoy twists, there are some great twists that happen, especially towards the end.
THE SEVENTH MOST ENJOYABLE THING is probably not a book I would recommend for a local history unit; there are books with a lot more factoids and everyday life-type material. Maybe as a book to study the particular event this book is based off of, but all in all, this novel pretty much stands alone. There’s a lot to be learned from this book, even though the lessons are pretty subtle, and I really enjoyed reading it. 4 stars.