Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Seventh Most Important Thing

I was quite skeptical of this book.  A boy with a dead father, out of nowhere throws a brick at a junkman passing by.  It had all the makings of a story that felt cliche and full of angst.  Not the stuff I usually enjoy.  But this one threw me a curve out of left field, and boy was I hooked.  I am a little bit manic about modern art so this book went right to passion.  But you don't have to be an artist or even an art fanatic to enjoy this story, and in the end that is what makes is a great read.

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Title: The Seventh Most Important Thing

Author: Shelley Pearsall

Target: Grade 5 -8

Series: No

What this book is about:  
A junk man is wandering around picking up trash, when thirteen year old Arthur Owens suddenly picks up a brick and throws it at the man’s head.  It misses his head but shatters his arm, and Arthur, a boy who has never been in trouble before, is suddenly sent to juvenile hall.  The junk man believes that Arthur has saved him, and works out a deal where Arthur can work for him as his community service.  Arthur finds out that the junk man is not collecting trash after all, but really the seven most important things.

Why I love this book:

- First off this book is based on a work of art produced by the real “junk man” which is exhibited at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.  I love that while the story is fiction, the actual art is on display for kids to see and this book will give them insight into the mind of an artist.

-I very much enjoyed how this story developed.  The reader is roped in with the crime at the beginning of the book and slowly we understand why Arthur threw the brick and how his work with the junk man will save him.

-While there are religious undertones to the art, the author never takes it too far, so no matter what your beliefs you can enjoy this story.

Who this book is for: 
I have been told that kids who like Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass would enjoy this book.  Kids who like realistic fiction will find this story a good fit.  This book does a wonderful job a reeling kids into the story within the first two pages.

If you are going to Washington DC them this would be a wonderful book to share with kids.  How fun would it be to go see the artwork in the museum after having read the book?

Final thoughts: 
This book absolutely surprised me.  I didn’t think I would be interested in the premise, but wow does Shelley Pearsall real you in.  She has two small pictures in the book of the actual artwork, but they are black and white.  I had a lot more fun looking it up on the internet after reading the story!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Seventh Most Important Thing   A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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