The Seventh Most Important Thing

The Seventh Most Important ThingWritten by Shelley Pearsall

This story begins in November 1963, when 13 year old Arthur Owens picks up a brick and throws it at an old homeless man, who is rummaging through garbage cans. As restitution he is court ordered to service hours helping this man. What follows is a very surprising and touching friendship, involving junk collecting, artistic endeavors, more friendships, and life lessons.

I was surprised at the end to learn that this was based on a true story. Make sure to read the Author’s Notes. The book was very well written. I read it all in one sitting and was crying by the inevitabilities and surprises at the end. I loved all seven of the most important things. I highly recommend to grades 4-9.

Review by Terrie Bishop, Academy Park Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-9

Author Website:

The Seventh Most Important Thing
Written by Shelley Pearsall
Alfred A. Knopf
278 pages
Release Date: September 8, 2015

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14 thoughts on “The Seventh Most Important Thing”

  1. GIVE-AWAY! We have a copy of this title to give away to a Granite library or classroom! Leave a comment with your name here by 2/7/16 for a chance to win. Drawing will be held Monday 2/8.

    There are other book giveaways going right now as well, don’t miss them!

    1. Congratulations! You are the winner of this drawing! A copy of The Seventh Most Important Thing will be coming to your library through district mail. Thanks for looking and commenting!

  2. Very excited for this book! I think it’s an important thing to have, especially in a school where it’s a very diverse community.

  3. The scavenger hunt is over :(
    I have heard good things about this book. Nice review and for pointing out about the author notes. Thanks.

  4. Our library has a copy of this book and the kids who have read it have really enjoyed it. We’d love another copy!

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