Monday, March 15, 2010

Best Bad Luck I Ever Had

Levine, Kristin. 2009. BEST BAD LUCK I EVER HAD. New York: Penguin. ISBN 9780399250903 [Suggested Grade Levels 5- 8]


Set in 1917, The BEST BAD LUCK I EVER HAD is a compelling coming-of-age story set in the Deep South. Dit, our hero, is your typical boy. He's more interested in fishing and playing baseball than almost anything else. And he really wants--more than anything--to have a best friend his own age who shares his interests. That is one reason why he's excited the town is getting a new postmaster. He's hoping he'll have a family, a son, just the right age. But that isn’t to be. No, instead of a boy, he finds a girl. And a book-loving girl at that. Her name is Emma. And she will change his life. One other thing, she’s black. Yes, the town now has a black postmaster, who’s been transferred from up north. What's this small community to make of this new family? What's poor Dit to think of this new girl? Can the two ever be friends? And what would that friendship look like?

Levine’s story is emotional and beautiful. Her portrayal of friendship between the two is unforgettable. It is an incredible first novel for the author.


Discuss how Emma was treated by the community. Especially how she was treated by Dit’s teacher. Do you think Emma always made the best decisions?

Choose a scene from the novel to dramatize or perform.


Other novels set around World War I:

Frost, Helen. CROSSING STONES. ISBN 9780374316532

Moss, Jenny. WINNIE’S WAR. ISBN 9780802798190

Other novels set in the South:

Brown, Linda. BLACK ANGELS. ISBN 9780399250309

Burg, Shana. A THOUSAND NEVER EVERS. ISBN 9780385734707

Lester, Julius. GUARDIAN. ISBN 9780061558900

By Becky Laney

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