Summary and book reviews of The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had

by Kristin Levine

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2009, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2010, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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Book Summary

Set in 1917 and inspired by the author’s true family history, this is the poignant story of a remarkable friendship and the perils of small-town justice.

The last thing Harry “Dit” Sims expects when Emma Walker comes to town is to become friends. Proper-talking, brainy Emma doesn’t play baseball or fish too well, but she sure makes Dit think, especially about the differences between black and white. 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.

Set in 1917 and inspired by the author’s true family history, this is the poignant story of a remarkable friendship and the perils of small-town justice

1

THE NEW POSTMASTER

I’ve been wrong before. Oh, heck, if I’m being real honest, I’ve been wrong a lot. But I ain’t never been so wrong as I was about Emma Walker. When she first came to town, I thought she was the worst piece of bad luck I’d had since falling in the outhouse on my birthday. I tell you, things were fine in Moundville before Emma got here, least I thought they were. Guess the truth is, you’ll never know how wrong I was till I’m done telling and explaining—so I’d better just get on with the story.

My real name is Harry Otis Sims, but everybody calls me Dit. See, when I was little, I used to roll a hoop down Main Street, beating it with a stick as I ran along. One day, two older boys tried to steal my hoop. I hit them with my stick and told them, “Dit away.” They laughed. “You talk like a baby. Dit, dit, dit.” The name stuck.

There are ten children in our family: Della, Ollie, Ulman, Elman, Raymond, ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Middle-grade readers are in luck. Levine has written a richly-realized tale of a powerful best-friendship and a boy's passage into manhood during a shameful and violent period in America's past.   (Reviewed by Jo Perry).

Full Review Members Only (768 words).

Media Reviews

School Library Journal

This spirited, early-20th-century coming-of-age story presents a small-town cast of well-drawn characters, an unlikely friendship, engaging adventures, and poignant realizations.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Tension builds just below the surface of this energetic, seamlessly narrated first novel set in small-town Alabama in 1917. Ages 10+

Kirkus Reviews

[T]he growth of their friendship, along with Dit's emerging moral conscience, make this a fine debut novel by an author to watch. Ages 10-14.

Reader Reviews

lov3 m3

loved it
I loved it, and she visited our school! Mary G. Porter it was great.

Shay

The best bad luck i eever had
I thought it was going to be boring but when I got the book and started to read it my mom could not get me to listen to her at all! It took me 3 days to finish the book. I think everyone that says that book looks boring to pick it up and read ...   Read More

amanda

the best bad luck i ever had
I think the book was very boring in the beginning because, well, it just listed what they did in like the first 30 chapters. And then the book got a plot in like the last part of the book - but the end was really really good:D

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Beyond the Book

Moundville, Alabama - Largest City in North America
By present day standards Moundville was a small town in 1917 and still is today, but according to information presented by the Moundville Archaeological Park, 800 years ago it was the location of possibly the largest city in North America.   The present-day town is named after the 26 prehistoric burial mounds that are all that visibly remains of the Mississippian culture that lived on the site from about A.D. 1000 to 1450. 

At its most populous, the conurbation spanned about 300 acres (about half a square mile) and had a population of about one thousand with an estimated further ten thousand living in the surrounding valley. Excavated burial sites ...

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