Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall

The Seventh Most Important Thing
Shelley Pearsall

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, light bulbs, 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. . . .


Shelley Pearsall grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where she began writing stories in her bedroom closet as a child. She sent her first story to a New York publishing house at the age of thirteen. Although the manuscript was never published, its themes of survival and freedom ultimately became the inspiration for Pearsall’s first published novel, TROUBLE DON’T LAST, written twenty years later. Click here for more information about Shelley Pearsall.

Click here to visit the Author's Website. 

Vocabulary Activity

Writing about a new vocabulary word can help you understand the word.
  1. Choose at least 10 words you do not know as you read this book.
  2. Write the sentence from the novel that contains the vocabulary word and page number.
  3. What is the definition of the word?
  4. Can you use it in your own sentence?
  5. Explain how the word connects to the story. 
Make a MCBA vocabulary book of other words in this book and all the 
other MCBA books you read.

Click here to read answers to some of the author questions asked most often

Click here to learn more about other books by Shelley Pearsall

Great Teacher Resources for The Seventh Most Important Thing

For families and book clubs:   Seventh Most Important Thing Guide by Brightly

For book groups:  Guided Book Talk  by Berner Middle School, NY. 

For classroom teachers: Teaching Guide by Robert Kaminski, Woodbury School, OH

For classroom teachers: Teaching Guide Toolkit by the State Library of Ohio

Shelley Pearsall book flyer