Set in Alabama in 1917, The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had is the story of Dit, real name Harry Sims, who is 12 years old, loves baseball and hunting, and whose pa always has to run through a few of his 9 brothers' and sisters' names before he gets to Dit's. Dit's world is shaken up when the new postmaster, who is supposed to have a son his age, arrives in town and turns out not only to be black, but instead of having a son, has a daughter. She's 12 year old Emma and is unlike anyone Dit knows. She's well spoken, very well read, neat and tidy, and always wears her shoes. They become good friends, which is not an easy thing to do in small-town Alabama in 1917. Through Emma, Dit sees the cruelty and injustice of bigotry. He must decide whether he has the courage to be friends with Emma right out in the open, for all to see and know. And if he does, can he also stand up for her when others show their prejudice and treat her unkindly?
Dit's story is based on Levine's own family history. This is her first novel and I say it's a keeper! I love the character of Dit and his Alabamaese. A definite Newbery contender!