News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was stunning! I read it in a day, less than a day, I mean hours. I couldn’t put it down! It is a historical fiction that brings a lovely story of a 71-year-old man and a 10-year-old forming a bond as they travel across Texas to return her to her family. This book is being made into a movie, and I cannot wait to watch it now!

If you are interested in any of the following, I think this is a book for you!
✔️ 1800’s historical fiction
✔️ Texan history
✔️ Western lawlessness
✔️ On-the-road adventures
✔️ Unlikely friendships

This book has a main character (Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd) that is older, and enjoys his wandering lifestyle, going across Texas reading the news for dimes. This was something I had never heard of before, but it completely makes sense. Not everyone can read, and smaller towns wouldn’t get the larger newspapers. People also enjoyed gathering together to discuss as they heard the news. I loved how much this played into the story, and I was so intrigued by it!

The characters were wonderful. The little girl was abducted by Indians when she was 6, and she was recovered at 10. The story is not about her abduction, and there is not a lot of information about that time for her. This really focuses on her relationship with Kidd, and their travels to return her to her remaining family. She doesn’t speak English at all and doesn’t remember her life before the Indians, so she is terrified and confused. I loved watching him work to communicate with her, and celebrated the wins with him when she was able to understand and learn something.

Their characters are funny at times and heartbreaking at other times. I loved the two of them together, how they learned from each other. I also enjoyed the side characters that they come across. Some are helpful, while others are dangerous. It created a wonderful adventure! I absolutely loved that there was a map in the front of this book. I have never referenced a map as often as I did for this book! I liked looking at how far they had traveled as they would reach a new destination. It was a great addition.

Overall, I thought this was a wonderful book with characters that will stick with you after you have finished!

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend News of the World to readers that enjoy historical fiction that focuses on a specific person rather than a historic event. If you enjoy the forming of friendships, this is a good one for you!

Where to Find This Book:

News of the World by Paulette Jiles is available at these sites.

Amazon ~ Kindle ~ Goodreads


In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.

Just the Facts:

News of the World by Paulette Jiles
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 209 
Publisher: William Morrow
Pub Date: March 29, 2016


I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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