News of the World (2016)

by Paulette Jiles

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.

Captain 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 story.

News of the World was adapted for a 2020 film starring Tom Hanks as Captain Kidd.

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