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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 attachments...to 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.
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Billie Letts is the author of numerous highly acclaimed short stories, screenplays and three beloved novels. A former University professor, she lives in Tulsa with her husband, Dennis.From School Library Journal:
Adult/High School—After the sudden death of Floy, her father's 300-pound girlfriend, 15-year-old Lutie McFee flees Spearfish, SD, with her 11-year-old brother, Fate. With only an apartment address to guide them, the siblings head toward Las Vegas in Floy's Pontiac, in search of the father they haven't seen or heard from in a year. Lutie's defiant personality lands the pair in a number of dangerous and precarious situations. However, her equally dominant determination drives her to do almost anything to protect her intellectual and withdrawn brother. When she is almost beaten to death during a robbery, a mysterious protector, Juan Vargas, comes to their aid. After getting medical treatment for her, Juan transports Lutie and Fate to his hometown in Hugo, OK. While Fate discovers a world of wonder and happiness, Lutie struggles to accept the support that is being offered to her. The ending, while unlikely, is satisfying and emotionally rewarding. Teens will immediately be drawn into the story by Lutie's feisty personality as well as the adventure, and ultimate hardship, of living by your wits. Recommend this one to those who enjoy gutsy protagonists, gritty plotlines, and fairy-tale endings.—Lynn Rashid, Marriots Ridge High School, Marriotsville, MD
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