Book: The Seventh Most Important Thing
Author: Shelley Pearsall
Rating: 4 Stars
Basic plot: Arthur gets in big trouble when he throws a brick at the Junk Man. As part of his probation, he now has to work off hours doing the Junk Man’s bidding… which leads him to the List of the Seven Most Important Things.
1) I like the cover, even thought it’s slightly misleading. (Light bulbs are NOT the seventh most important thing.) But it works. Because, at least light bulbs are on the list 😉
2) Arthur is nicely developed as a character… How he struggles with dealing with his dad’s death. How he deals with his mom and sister. How he navigates the odd instructions given to him by St. James (aka the Junk Man, aka Mr. Hampton).
3) I love how Mr. Hampton is the one who suggests Arthur work for him during his probation. What a wise man.
4) This story, I found out after reading the book, is actually based on a true story. Sort of. The characters are fictional. But Mr. Hampton and his artwork is real. Which is pretty amazing. You can actually look online to see the full display of the artwork.
5) I’m glad there’s an epilogue. I like how it takes place seven years after the main story. (Seven is an important number in the book!)
6) I love the Biblical imagery in the book as it relates to the artwork. But I also like that it wasn’t in your face. The quotes especially: “The people perish for a lack of knowledge” and “Fear Not”.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) I almost put this book back on the shelf at the library. Reading the back blurb, I wasn’t sure I wanted another juvenile delinquent story. But, I kept it and am I glad I did!
2) Somehow I missed that this book takes place in the 1960s. When I looked back, I saw that it gives the date in the first chapter. But like I said, I missed that. I wish the author had put more 1960s hints into the following chapters. To give us a better flavor of the times. (I kept wondering why these people didn’t have cell phones and such.)
My rating is 4 stars (out of 5) – I really liked this book. And even more so, when I discovered the history behind it.