An epic fail requires atonement. Even when done with the best intentions.
One Most Important Thing, a contemporary YA mystery of 63,000 words, is both a whodoneit and whydoneit. A combination of Michael Northrop's Gentlemen and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; the story reveals a mystery from the point-of-view of a boy with autism.
Ninth-grader Joey Davidson wants to be normal, but his fairy-godmother says it's a long-term project. Being abandoned is
his greatest fear. It's already happening. Joey's father rejected him at age four - on the day Joey was placed on the autism spectrum. His mother is dying
of cancer and he knows he won't have her much longer. The fairy godmother left when he was in seventh grade.
In junior high, the Desert Rats, a diverse gang of trailer-park boys, each broken in their own way,
befriend him. The gang includes an illegal Mexican immigrant, a Pima
Native American, and an African-American. When Bud moves into the
neighborhood, relationships change. One night, Bud's trailer bursts into flames.
As detectives investigate, Joey tells of struggling to live with autism burdened by a long list of sorrows and a set of numbered rules he uses to navigate the world.
And he has a secret he's kept since he learned to lie.