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Madison book clubbers like Shelley Pearsall

September 27, 2016 |

Madison Public Library was lucky last year to do a Skype talk with author Shelley Pearsall. Remembering her talent for relating to kids, we chose to read her latest book “The Seventh Most Important Thing” for the inaugural Middle School Book Club this fall.

The Seventh Most Important ThingKnow what?

The kids loved it! Well, all but one. (And she had valid reasons she didn’t like it, so that was fun to discuss.) It’s historical fiction and when you finish it, you can connect with the real life person on which part of the story is based. (His work is in the Smithsonian!)

Here’s the gyst: 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 . . .