Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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


When 15-year old Lutie and her 11-year old brother Fate discover that their guardian, Floy, has dropped dead at the check out of theWal-Mart in Spearfish, South Dakota, they take off in Floy's Pontiac hoping to find their long-absent father in Las Vegas. One of the first things they learn in Vegas, is that they can park their car for free overnight in the public library parking lot. Lutie then begins a search for money that includes panhandling, stealing, minimum wage jobs, and sexual exploitation. Fate, however, discovers the wonders of the Clark County Public Library. Although unable to get a library card because he does not have a parent to sign for him, the librarians make sure that Fate is welcome to read all he wants while inside the building, and set him up to use the computers. The description of the library is rich with diverse patrons, and holds treasures of books, documents, and other information. It is clearly a well-used and well-loved place with story hours and a welcoming staff. Letts truly shows the library, and librarians as beacons of light in what is otherwise "Sin City" for Fate. Letts is a good storyteller, who clearly understands the value of a good library.

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