Arthur Owens had a reason for picking up a brick and throwing it at the old Junk Man on the street. He really did. However, no one knew what that reason was until he had his day in court and the judge made him say it. When the Junk Man, Mr. Hampton, heard the reason, he offered to let Arthur serve all of his community service hours with him. Now Arthur has to pick up junk out of people's trash cans. Except, it really isn't junk. It's important things. And when Arthur finally discovers the reasons behind the seven important things he must collect every day, he discovers there are plenty of other important things in his life that he never dreamed would matter.
What I Liked
I loved the simplicity of this book. Arthur is so troubled by the death of his father, but no one really knows just how much. The author chose to let us discover Arthur's grief along with the other characters in the book. I liked this. It didn't come across preachy and weird - just really sweet.
The other thing that really hit home how much I liked this book was the ending. I had no idea until the end of the book that this whole thing was based on a true story! READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE! (Seriously. You should ALWAYS read the author's notes at the end of the book. Lots of cool stuff to be discovered in those things!) The whole story about saving (or not saving) what Mr. Hampton created is true. In fact, it's in the Smithsonian! I spent about 30 minutes just going to the website mentioned in the Author's Note so that I could see the real stuff.
I'll just leave you with this image. It's the real piece of art from the book. Pretty cool story. Go read it! It's a nice break from all the dystopian, science fiction madness that is so popular right now.