The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had

by Kristin Levine


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A powerful story about race and an unlikely friendship from award-winning author of The Lions of Little Rock.

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

The last thing Harry "Dit" Sims expects when Emma Walker comes to town is to become friends. Propertalking, brainy Emma doesn't play baseball or fish too well, but she sure makes Dit think, especially about the differences between black and white in the 1910s. But soon Dit is thinking about a whole lot more when the town barber, who is black, is put on trial for a terrible crime. Together Dit and Emma come up with a daring plan to save him from the unthinkable.

★ “Tension builds just below the surface of this energetic, seamlessly narrated first novel set in small-town Alabama in 1917.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “This classic story of how unlikely persons can change things for the better should appeal to all readers.”—VOYA, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142416488
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/16/2010
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 379,151
Product dimensions: 5.13(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.72(d)
Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 13 Years

About the Author

Kristin Levine ( received her BA in German from Swarthmore College and an MFA in film from American University. She spent a year in Vienna, Austria, working as an au pair, and has taught screenwriting at American University. Currently, she lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her two daughters. She is the author of the critically acclaimed The Best Luck I Ever HadThe Lions of Little Rock, and The Paper Cowboy. 

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

-A fine debut novel by an author to watch.+ -Kirkus Reviews

Customer Reviews

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The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
4108hey More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It taught me a little about segrigation and the American Civil War. I learned more about how to be someone's friend even if people are teasing you about your new friend's appearance like their race, color, religon, or gender. Also, if your so called "friends" are teasing you because of your new friend maybe you should think if their really your "friend". Think about it. Also, think if your the person who's teasing a person because of their appearnce or your teasing their friend. How do you think it feal's to be teased or maybe that's why your teasing, because someone else teased you? either way you shouldn't tease. this book has taught me alot and it will teach you life lessons, too.
SFiolic More than 1 year ago
The story begins with Harry “Dit” Sims. He is one of ten children in his family in a small town. He hears that a new mail man is coming to work in his town since the last one left. Dit thinks that the new mail man has a son that he could play with, but when the mail man arrives. It turns out that he has a daughter not a son, Emma Walker. Plus, Emma is black. Since the story takes place in 1917 discrimination is still strong. Even tough, Dit and Emma become good friends. Much later in the book, the town barber is trialed for crime. Dit and Emma come up with a plan to save him from his punishment. I liked that the author didn't just say that Dit and Emma became friends right away and that was that. Both of them had problems in their friendship just like a normal friendship. The only thing that I didn't like about the book is that it took a long time to get to the main problem of the story. The other problems of the book were too small. This book is great for 8th graders. It is a fast read and can teach people not to discriminate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best freindship book i ever read. Pretty cute if you like emotional stories!:)
Anna Davis More than 1 year ago
My school libarian suggested it and now im suggesting it to you!
Mary Ann Bagasbas More than 1 year ago
Love the book nice story
Amanda Lionetti More than 1 year ago
very good u should resd it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is good but it is logh
phh333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good book. Set in a small town in Alabama from 1917 to 1918. About the friendship between a 13 year-old white boy and a black girl. The girl is the daughter of the new postmaster. The characters, both young and old, learn to stand up for what is right and learn to sacrifice in order to help each other. Good book featuring the inequalities of the time, WWI, and the flu epidemic of 1918.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In an age when it is not good for a black girl and a white boy to be seen together, Dit and Emma find themselves thrown together to stand up for the rights of one of their friends. Henry Otis, known as dit is excited when he finds out that their new postmasterhas a son. Finally he has someone that he can pal around with all summer. To his surprise the postmaster doesn't have a son, he has a daughter named Emma. Worse yet, Dit's mother has decided that her son should be a gentleman and show Emma around town. The more their friendship grows the more they see and feel the prejudice fro others around town. Emma and Dit have a friend who is accused of a crim he didn't commit. They feel responsible and decide they have to help. The problem with this plan is that Emma's father has been told he is going to be transferred. This was another book that gave great insight into race relations in the early 1900's
prkcs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Moundville, Alabama, in 1917, twelve-year-old Dit hopes the new postmaster will have a son his age, but instead he meets Emma, who is black, and their friendship challenges accepted ways of thinking and leads them to save the life of a condemned man.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Twelve-year-old Dit is hoping that the new postmaster for his small Alabama town will have a boy just his age so they can play baseball all summer long. It's Dit's bad luck that the postmaster turns out to have a daughter instead. Emma and Dit become friends despite their different races (Emma is black, Dit is white) and when racial tensions escalate in the town, they must figure out how to make things right. The plot meanders until about halfway through when it seems like the real meat of the story begins. Which is not to say I didn't enjoy it - I just wonder if most of the first half was really necessary to include. I liked the characters except for the Big Bad, who was pretty one-dimensional. With a little more focus, I think the book would have been phenomenal.
dpiacun on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book is about a boy looking for a guy friend to hangout with and ends up with a girl. They spend a year hanging out, learning new things from each other. The story sticks out because in a racial time Dit did not care about Emma¿s color, he just wanted a friend and was happy to have one. She helped him change who he is, and he helped her change also. This is a good diversity book and standing up for what we believe in.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I loved the friendship between Dit and Emma in this novel. Dit was hoping a boy would step off the train when it rolled into town but unfortunately a girl named Emma hopped off. Not just any girl either, this girl and her family were Negras. With his best friend Chip at his grandmothers all summer, Dit needed a new friend for the summer. Since the new postmaster’s family would be living in a cabin next to Dit’s family home, Dit was told to show Emma around by his mama and it wasn’t long before the two of them were friends. Dit showed Emma all of the fine things that he could do like skipping stones, swimming, playing baseball, and digging a cave. Almost every day the two of them would retire to their cave and relax and talk. I enjoyed reading about how these two children conversed with each other and learned about each other’s world. They didn’t seem to be in competition with each other, they were playing on equal fields. The difference of their skin didn’t matter to them; they were enjoying their summer, just being kids and enjoying life. School is about to begin and Emma has to attend the Negro school which upsets Dit. Dit makes a comment to his father that there are boys who have worked the fields all summer who are darker than Emma who will attend the white school and he doesn’t feel that this is fair. What a wonderful statement and observation on Dit part. Attending school, Dit is harassed by his peers for they have become aware of his friendship with Emma. Their abuse is hard for Dit to take. As the harassment extends to others in the class, Dit cannot watch this type of behavior occur. Dit can no longer stand in the shoes of a bully like he was last year, he has changed. As Dit learns to handle his peers at school, the town must also learn to accept the new changes that the nation has adopted.
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In the beginning i thiught i wouldn't like it but i ended up loving it! I really liked it! The end was a little sad but still makes you smile! :)
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Dit tells about a storyc and blacks were not as good as whites. He likes Emma Walker or(Emma Watson). The story is great i think you should read it.
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