Destinee Sutton's Reviews > The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 24, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, african-americans, families, tween

I don't have a single complaint about this book. It was well-written, enjoyable, and I learned a little something about being 13 years old in small-town Alabama in 1918. I'd be happy if it got a Newbery nod.

The story's told by Dit, one of ten children, who is just your average kid until he befriends the daughter of the town's new postmaster: a super smart girl named Emma, who is black. Because it's 1918 and rural Alabama, their friendship is uncomfortable for many townspeople, both black and white. But it evolves naturally. Emma helps Dit with school. Dit teaches Emma, a city girl, how to play baseball. There's not a whole lot of plot until a fight between the awful white sheriff and a kind black barber results in a crime that rocks the small town--and Dit and Emma get involved in setting things right.

Because the chapters were short and filled with great details, I didn't mind at all that it took the story some time to get going. First-time author Levine was so great at setting the scene that the climax was ultimately pretty believable (which is rare in these kinds of books). Dit's moral development, and his understanding of race relations and history, never felt preachy or didactic.

This is one of those books that will be equally enjoyable for girls and boys, I think. While it is indeed about racism (the n-word is used quite a bit), it's also about friendship between a boy and a girl, and how bonding with a person who's different from you can change your life. In that way, it reminded me of Bridge to Terabithia, which is a pretty high compliment in my book.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

03/31 marked as: read

No comments have been added yet.