News of the World is a heartwarming, adventurous
story about the developing bond between a 71-year-old man and a
10-year-old girl in the post–Civil War West.
Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a veteran of two wars, makes his living by
traveling Texas as a professional reader of newspapers for
audiences hungry to know what’s going on outside their confines.
Johanna Leonberger was captured four years before by the Kiowa
Indians who killed her family, but they have now sold her to an
Indian agent because they are tired of being harassed by
American calvary. After a reading, Kidd is offered $50 to take
Johanna to her aunt and uncle outside San Antonio. Kidd
reluctantly agrees, knowing it will be a perilous journey
complicated by Johanna’s remembering no English and thinking
that she’s being kidnapped again. Johanna gradually comes to
trust Kidd during their 400-mile journey, where they have to
escape Native warriors and unscrupulous white men. Their
successful arrival at their destination is not the end of their
News of the World was adapted for a 2020 film starring Tom Hanks as Captain Kidd.
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