Friday, May 6, 2011

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had
Author: Kristin Levine
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnams Sons, c2009.

Plot Description:
            All Dit was really hoping for was that the new postmaster would have a son his age, and that the son liked baseball.  It didn’t seem like too much to ask for.  Unfortunately, what he got instead was Emma.  Emma might be his age, but they really don’t have much else in common.  She grew up in fancy Boston, wears pretty clothes all the time, doesn’t play baseball, and she’s black.  But as Dit and Emma spend time together, he begins to realize that even though she’s a girl, she’s not half bad.  But a lot of people in the town don’t agree with him, and he’s got some decisions to make: does he stick by his friend?  Or is the town right and her skin color really does make her different?

            The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had provides a different lens for the problem of racial prejudice and the civil rights movement.  Seen through the eyes of Dit, the terrible racial tensions of the South seem petty.  When the town’s barber, who is also black, is on trial for the murder of the sheriff (even though it was self defense), Dit learns that right and wrong are not always as clear to everyone else as they are to him.  It’s a great story about a boy learning that the world isn’t always the best place, but that it’s important to always to what’s right. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Reading level: 6th Grade

Similar Books: Maniac Magee

Reader’s Advisory:
Personal thoughts- really good book about how we shouldn’t judge people by our first impressions
Subjects/themes- Prejudice, friendship, Racism, Fiction
Character names/descriptions-
            Dit- 12 years old and likes baseball
            Emma- 12 years old and likes reading, is really smart but can’t go to the white kids school
            Doc- accused of murdering Big Foot (who is also his half brother
Annotation: Girls can come in handy sometimes.

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