News of the World

News of the World

A Novel

eBook - 2016
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Soon to be a Major Motion Picture Starring Tom Hanks National Book Award Finalist-Fiction. 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.
Publisher: [United States] :, Harper Collins Publishers,, 2016
Made available through hoopla
ISBN: 9780062409225
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
hoopla digital


From Library Staff

On February 5th 2020 - Come discuss Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd and be ready to talk about the Wild West after the civil War. In Kidd's later years, he toured Texas as a news reader, reading recent newspapers articles to crowds hungry for news. Kidd agreed to returning an Indian captive,10 year... Read More »

On October 19th "News of the World" book discussion around our Potluck Book Club Luncheon at 1:00 in the Club House at Trellis Pointe. This short wild West cowboy reads newspapers to folks in small Texas towns hungry for world news, while Kidd is escorting and Indian captive to her rel... Read More »

March 20 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.

Discussed November 2018. Super short book that appeals to men and women. Great discussion about communication pre-1900. A few reader conflicts about the young protagonist, but that helped shed light on themes in the book.

From the critics

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Feb 22, 2021

Can't wait to watch the movie! Capt. Kidd is just trying to live a solitary life he wants to and has an unwanted child thrust at him. He tries not to connect to her wildness but the circumstances prevent the void and he must protect her at all cost. Great read; moves quickly.

Jan 11, 2021

Excellent. A must read!

Jan 11, 2021

This was a very good read. The relationship between Grandpa and the young captive girl is very moving to see transpire. I highly recommend this book.

Jan 02, 2021

I returned this book to the library months ago, but it just keeps getting auto-renewed instead of checked in..?

Dec 23, 2020

Great adventure tale... lots of action.

debwalker Dec 14, 2020

And now the movie. Powerful read for this dark winter.

Dec 14, 2020

It is 1870 and we find ourselves in the company of Captain Kidd in northern Texas. Captain Kidd is 71 and earns his living by traveling throughout the territory and reading news stories to paying audiences hungry for information about the world beyond their small communities. In Wichita Falls he is engaged to return a 10 year old girl, Johanna, to her distant relatives who live near San Antonio. Johanna was taken by Kiowa after they killed the rest of her immediate family and has been recently "rescued" by an Agent. She has lived with her Kiowa family for four years and has forgotten all traces of her previous life. During the long trip to San Antonio the Captain earns Johanna's trust and she earns his love and respect. There are many dangers which present the most exciting parts of the story. It is a true "western" in that there is an abundance of description of the landscapes through which they travel and they meet many unusual characters, some kind, some evil. The Captain's evolution from feeling a commitment to honor his engagement to a deep, fatherly love for Johanna was, for me, the strength of the book.

The author's notes were interesting. The Captain Kidd character was based on a real life Caesar Kydd who actually traveled northern Texas reading news stories to gatherings. Most interesting was the phenomenon that repeatedly children who were taken captive by Native Americans and who lived among them for even as short a time period as one year, resisted being "returned" to their native cultures and showed no signs of having memories of or preference for their previous lives.

Nov 02, 2020

Such a sweet & heartfelt read. It was a little hard to get into at first but quickly became one I couldn’t put down !

JCLCharlesH Oct 27, 2020

This novel was engrossing, and for me it flew by in one day. The characters are well developed and as the book went on, the feeling of companionship that developed through a shared journey felt real and earned. A good gateway to westerns as well, with some common themes and time period.

Oct 26, 2020

One of my most favorite books. Gave to Carla.

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Add Age Suitability
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 27, 2017

infobetsy thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Aug 16, 2017

MIMS750 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Feb 03, 2017

feralranger thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 99


Add a Quote
Jun 30, 2019

“Maybe life is just carrying news. Surviving to carry the news. Maybe we have just one message, and it is delivered to us when we are born and we are never sure what it says; it may have nothing to do with us personally but it must be carried by hand through a life, all the way, and at the end handed over, sealed.” - p. 121

Jun 30, 2019

“They were all odd, the returned captives. All peculiar with minds oddly formed, never quite one thing or another. As Doris had said back in Spanish Fort, all those captured as children and returned were restless and hungry for some spiritual solace, abandoned by two cultures, dark shooting stars lost in the outer heavens.” - p. 124

Sep 14, 2018

Some people were born unsupplied with a human conscience and those people needed killing.
-Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd

cals_readers Feb 17, 2017

Some people were born unsupplied with a human conscience and those people needed killing.


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