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  • Published: New York : Random House/Listening Library, p2010.
  • Year Published: 2010
  • Edition: Library ed.
  • Description: 6 sound discs (7 hr., 9 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book on CD

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780307710581 :
  • 0307710580 :

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The best bad luck I ever had

by Levine, Kristin 1974-

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Additional Details


Compact discs.

Read by Kirby Heyborne.

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.

Community Reviews

Race, Identity, and Justice in YA Lit

Thematically, The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had draws immediate comparisons to Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Twain's Huckleberry Finn, with issues of race, identity, and justice at the forefront. But this is neither an homage nor an attempt to re-invent those stories and characters.

Dit is neither as clever as Tom or Huck or Scout, nor as precocious. His slower progression toward understanding the reality of prejudice is well-written and readers of a wide age range will appreciate the nuances of his personality. Emma is stronger of mind than any character not named Atticus. Their experiences are universal in figuring out how the world of adults works and what place they will have among these adults, yet obviously different because Emma is black and Dit is white, and the injustice of how differently they are treated is drawn out by parents, teachers, and townspeople.

The plot is carefully constructed, if a bit slow at times, but they do live in the rural south in the early 20th century, so it's not exactly the 24 hour news cycle. Dit and Emma are memorable characters, and most of their adventures are realistic in nature.

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