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Book Review of News of the World

News of the World
News of the World
Author: Paulette Jiles
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
perryfran avatar reviewed on + 1125 more book reviews

I watched the movie version of this book which starred Tom Hanks a few months ago and really enjoyed it. Since then, I have wanted to read the book and finally got to it after finding a copy at a thrift store.

Well, I enjoyed the book even more that the movie. It tells the story of Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a veteran of three wars including the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War, who travels the far reaches of Northern Texas in 1870 to read the news to people on the frontier. He obtains copies of newspapers from as far away as London and scours them for stories of interest. He charges a dime to attend his readings that are well-received by people who don't have access to the news or are illiterate. Then a young 10-year-old girl comes into the Captain's life named Johanna who has been a captive of the Kiowa Indians for four years. Her parents and younger sister were killed by them but she has made the tribe her home and remembers none of he former life and speaks no English. Tired of being harassed by the cavalry, the Kiowa decides to sell her back to an Indian agent who then needs some one to deliver her to her Aunt and Uncle near San Antonio, 400 miles to the south. Kidd agrees to do this for a $50 gold piece that was offered by her family. It's a treacherous journey with possible attack by both Indians and white marauders. Along the way, Kidd comes to love Johanna who considers him her grandpa. So what will happen if they make it to Johanna's family?

This was a very compelling story and a quick read that I enjoyed a lot. The interactions between Kidd and Johanna are heart warming, the stories told by Kidd from his newspapers are interesting, and the experience of Johanna being taken from both her original family and then her Kiowa family is very emotional. The book also tells of some of the history of Texas after the Civil War and the fighting between the political factions at the time which reminded me a lot of our country today and the infighting between parties. Guess things don't change! Overall, I would highly recommend this one.

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