One Most Important Thing is a contemporary Young Adult novel telling the story of Joey, a ninth-grade boy with autism. He wants to be normal, but his fairy-godmother says it’s a long-term project. His mother is dying of cancer and he knows he won’t have her much longer. Being abandoned is his greatest fear. Making friends is nearly impossible for Joey until the Desert Rats, a diverse gang of trailer-park boys, each broken in their own way, befriend him. But when Bud moves into the neighborhood, relationships change. Bud takes the Desert Rats camping, but Joey isn’t invited. One night, Bud’s trailer bursts into flames and the authorities suspect arson.