Arthur is going through a lot. His dad died and after a while his mom discarded the father’s clothes. When Arthur sees the local Junk Man, known for going through garbage, wearing his father’s hat, Arthur loses it and throws a brick at the Junk Man. He spends time in juvie and at the hearing, when the Junk Man hears the reason why Arthur assaulted him, he offers Arthur probation time working for him. Arthur spends hours collecting for the injured Junk Man. He has a list of specific objects to scavenge; a list comprised of the seven most important things. It turns out the Junk Man is turning these bits of trash into a spectacular work of art.
Arthur, his new friend, Squeak, and the Junk Man (James Hampton) are all misunderstood and examples of how it is so important not to judge a person based on first impressions and outward appearance. The author’s note with photographs of the actual work of art by James Hampton is much appreciated. This is a quick read and quite endearing.
eGalley review Publication date 9.8.15