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

Saturday, June 27, 2009 Posted by Dina N

One of the exciting book giveaways that I am hosting right now is for Billie Letts' newest book, Made in the U.S.A. You probably know her work from Where the Heart Is - one of Oprah's book club titles - or Shoot the Moon, or The Honk and Holler Opening Soon.

Made in the U.S.A. is my first experience with Billie Letts, unless we count the Where the Heart Is movie that starred my favorite, Natalie Portman. This book tells the story of two kids who start a journey from Spearfish, South Dakota, to Las Vegas, in search of their father. They meet heartbreak, pain, and disappointment at every turn, forcing them to grow up way too soon. 15-year old Lutie and 12-year old Fate are smart and resourceful but all their endearing qualities are no match for the cruelty of the world they encounter.

Billie Letts' description of the kids' hardships is compassionate but realistic. She does not sugarcoat their reality nor does she preach about how wrong it is to have children go through all this ugliness. This book is very well-written - and also hard to read because of the wealth of emotions the reader must experience. At times, I wanted to squeeze my eyes shut and just hope, together with Lutie and Fate, that it is all a bad dream and we will wake up any minute now.

Made in the U.S.A. is the moving story of two kids looking for a place to call home. It also makes me think about the fate of children in today's world, and what we, as adults, have to change so that no child has to experience in real life what Lutie and Fate go through in this book.

I highly recommend that you read Made in the U.S.A. It is available from book retailers nationwide, and you can also enter by July 1 to win one of five copies, courtesy of Hachette Book Group.


  1. Marjorie said...

    I would like to win this book,
    many thanks for the awesome giveaway.

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