Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts

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The bestselling author of WHERE THE HEART IS returns with a heartrending tale of two children in search of a place to call home.

Lutie McFee's history has taught her to avoid people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone to find his fortune in Las Vegas, 15-year-old Lutie lives in the god-forsaken town of Spearfish, South Dakota with her twelve-year-old brother, Fate, and Floy Satterfield, the 300-pound ex-girlfriend of her father. While Lutie shoplifts for kicks, Fate spends most of his time reading, watching weird TV shows and worrying about global warming and the endangerment of pandas. As if their life is not dismal enough, one day, while shopping in their local Wal-Mart, Floy keels over and the two motherless kids are suddenly faced with the choice of becoming wards of the state or hightailing it out of town in Floy's old Pontiac. Choosing the latter, they head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind.

MADE IN THE U.S.A. is the alternately heartbreaking and life-affirming story of two gutsy children who must discover how cruel, unfair and frightening the world is before they come to a place they can finally call home.

About Billie Letts

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Billie Letts is a writer who attempts to capture small-town life in Oklahoma through such books as Where the Heart Is and The Honk and Holler Opening Soon. Letts was formerly a professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and has taught creative writing. Her first novel, Where the Heart Is, about n abandoned mother-to-be who is cared for by citizens of a small Oklahoma town, brought Letts quick recognition. It was one of the 1996 Books for the Teen Age selected by the New York Public Library, and received the 1996 Oklahoma Books Award, and the Walker Percy Award. Letts has also successfully published screenplays and short stories. Billie Letts is a native of Oklahoma, where she lives with her husband, Dennis.
Published June 19, 2008 by Grand Central Publishing. 368 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Recuperating from her attack, Lutie at first resists the care offered by Juan’s grandmother Mama Sim, but once she reveals to Mama Sim her deepest, guiltiest (most trite) secret, Lutie is emotionally ready to accept the love the Vargas family offers.

May 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Made in the U.S.A.

Book Reporter

Lutie is beaten to a pulp and the cash is stolen, when a guardian angel who had been helping them out secretly since they arrived in Vegas comes forward to rescue Lutie and her bewildered brother.

Jan 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Made in the U.S.A.

USA Today

(Grand Central, 355 pp., $24.99) by its summery cover illustration of lightning bugs flashing in a twilight sky.This novel is touted as the moving tale of two children who overcome all odds to find a home the search for home being a favorite Letts theme.Instead, the story of 15-year-old Lutie Mc...

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Jackson District Library

It is the story of two orphaned children (15 and 11) trying to survey on the streets of Las Vegas.

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