News of the World: A Novel

News of the World: A Novel

by Paulette Jiles


$13.17 $15.99 Save 18% Current price is $13.17, Original price is $15.99. You Save 18%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, October 21


Soon to be a Major Motion Picture Starring Tom Hanks 

National Book Award FinalistFiction

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062409218
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/20/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 13,094
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Paulette Jiles is a novelist, poet, and memoirist. She is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the novels Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, The Color of Lightning, Lighthouse Island, and News of the World, which was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award. She lives on a ranch near San Antonio, Texas.


Southwest Texas

Place of Birth:

Salem, Missouri


B.A. in Romance Languages, University of Missouri

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

News of the World 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A rich, vivid tale that is perfectly paced. I did not want to put it down. You know a novel is special when you are tearful at the end because of the plot and because your time with these characters had to end. I highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got this ebook because it was inexpensive and was just wanting something to read. Turned out to be well written and easy to reccomend to other readers. Its a simple story with strong characters. Made me cry and laugh. Buying all of this authors works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Patricia Jiles’ News of the World is the best book I have read in several years, the kind that only rarely comes along. A Civil War veteran travels around to smaller, more isolated towns to read from newspapers and magazines, in order to satisfy their appetite for what is happening in the greater world. Meanwhile, the vet is assigned the task of returning a kidnapped Native American girl to her tribe. Jiles did a great job of describing how the abduction affected the child. There are suspensefl twists and turns, and I will not give away any spoilers. If you are a fan of history, or just like good books period, this book is for you. My only “complaint” would be a suggestion for this and other authors: When you are using a good number of words that are not in the dictionary, it would be helpful to your readers, if you include a glossary. The words were in italics, so obviously it was known that they were uncommon. But it is an outstanding book that spoils you for other books for awhile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Great story and characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I searched about 200 summaries, some selected and read. This one has true historical context, superb character insights, 5 star writing quality, and wit. I^m grateful for all the effort it must have taken to craft this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could see this as a movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a well written novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for my book club discussion. It is a beautifully told story of a young girl and an older man. Johanna had been kidnapped by the Kiowa at age 6. At age 10; she was rescued and given to Captain Kidd to return to her aunt and uncle. Captain Kidd makes a living reading newspaper articles from around the world in small towns. So their journey begins. Their journey across Texas involved so much more than travel. It involved the journey of the young girl discovering her way back into a different culture. It was the journey of two people coming to trust and care for each other. It was a journey to find safety. It was a journey to find family. While I loved this story, I will admit the writing style was a little challenging to read. Dialogue was written without traditional punctuation, so at times it was hard to know if the words were spoken or just thought by the characters. But, once I got used to it, it stopped hindering the flow of the story. This is definitely a book I will recommend to others!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A gift, I thought, for light "summer" reading. Wrong. Historically fascinating, especially the role the role of Texas in the Civil War. The description of the Indian girl living between two worlds is piercing accurate. 50 yrs ago I had a friend who spent 12 yrs as a reservation Indiana, then moved to a wealthy St. Louis suburb. Psychologically, very similar.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A pretty predictable plot and characters, but I was looking for an easy read. You don't have to think too hard while reading it and its not a pageturner, but if you want a book to read at night or on the beach it'll keep you entertained.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended. Amazing and fascinating story of a unique adventure in Texas after the Civil War. The novel includes a reader of the news, a recused child, bandits, gun fights, danger, cruelty, loving relationships, dimes, and more. Excellent novel that deserves lots of awards. This novel deserves an A+++++++
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
News of the World is by Paulette Jiles. This book was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review by Harper Collins Publishers. I want to admit up front that I don’t usually read historical fiction. This book was definitely outside of the norm for me. It has been receiving high ratings from other readers so I decided to give it a try. Although at times I could find myself fading when there was a lot of history, the characters won my heart. Captain Jefferson Kidd is seventy one years old. He lost his wife, has raised two daughters, fought in several wars. It is 1870, a few years after the end of the Civil War and the country is still in turmoil. The Captain travels the country and for a price of ten cents each, he rents out large rooms and reads the news to anyone wanting to listen. This is how he makes his living. It is at one of his readings that an acquaintance of his asks for his help. He has a little ten year old girl that was taken by the Kiowa when she was six. He has rescued her but the little girl remembers nothing of her life before. In her mind she is a Kiowa. The little girl needs to be returned to her surviving family, an Aunt and Uncle. The trip would take three weeks and would be dangerous. He will pay the Captain $50 to deliver the girl. The Captain is hesitant to take on such a huge responsibility. It is evident that the girl is wild. But he does accept the job. Along the journey his gentle way with her slowly settles her and they grow attached. They encounter danger and share joy. It was shocking to me the things that people of that time had to worry about, the danger they had to endure to survive. It is so foreign to anything we know now. But one thing is the same and that is that there are good people and there are bad people. There are people with blackness in their hearts who seek little ten year old girls for vile reasons. And little Johanna is lucky enough to have the Captain to protect her. Together they are a force to be reckoned with. As their bond strengthens, the idea of returning her to her relatives becomes more and more painful. But this is what he was paid to do, it is the right thing to do, isn’t it? I did enjoy this book, it was a quick read. I loved the ending. If you enjoy historical fiction then you will most likely love this.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
Learned so much about the abduction of white children by Native Americans and how drastically it changed them. Will read more on this subject.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two2dogs More than 1 year ago
This book is my Book Club pick for November, I am so glad I read this book, loved the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great thought provoking read
Niki_Estes More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure where to start a review for this book. It took me a little while to get into the story, but by the end, I loved the characters, Captain Kidd and Johanna. (Honestly, I think one thing that held me back from connecting with them more quickly was the lack of quotation marks. It made it difficult to read the dialogue.) Captain Kidd is a quintessential Western character reminiscent of Larry McMurty's Call and Gus (Lonesome Dove). You can't help but fall in love with the character. Then, there is poor Johanna. The things she lived through that shaped her life and personality would be so difficult to cope with as an adult let alone a young child. About half way through the book, I was thinking I would rate the book with 3 or 4 stars. As the story progressed, I felt more connected with the characters and just couldn't put it down. I think I would rate it 4 or 4.5 stars now that I've finished. (Those missing quotation marks really annoyed me while reading!)
rokinrev More than 1 year ago
“Maybe life is just carrying news. Surviving to carry the news. Maybe we just have 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 thorough a life, all the way, and at the end handed over,sealed” Why have I let this book languish on the shelf since 2016 I will never know. What a marvelous little story! It focuses on the story of Johanna Leonberger, captured by the Kiowa as spoils of a raid on her family, and held captive for over four years until she was rescued by soldiers and then passed to others in hopes of returning her to her relatives. It is also the story of Captain Jefferson Kidd, his ability to share the news of the world as men did in those days, and being asked to take the ten year old to her uncle and aunt. Along the way they see the loner caring for the girl and vice versa as the world “recovers” from the Civil War. How are they treated, both separately and together? How do they see the world with and without each other? In just over 200 pages the reader is literally transported to right where this is happening in time and place, a good hallmark of well done historical fiction. Highly recommended.5/5
Jubo More than 1 year ago
This reads like old-time storytelling (and the story is great). Beautifully descriptive, engaging ended and I wanted more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written with richly retailed chracters and very good expressions of the human condition. Often felt as though I could "see" the scenery as it was portrayed. I was filled with sorrow at the mistreatment of this little girl.
xprobin More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book and the historical details. It is a quick read that could have benefited from more development at the end of the novel. Instead, the author does a summary of what happens 10-20 years after the main characters have completed their journey.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
He travels through the countryside reading the news, collecting ten-cents a head to those who gather and listen to it. The year is 1870 and on one of his stops, he is asked to take a 10-year-old white girl to her relatives, as they feel he would have better luck seeing her to her destination, as he too is white. During this 400-mile journey, as the distance becomes shorter, their relationship deepens. Captain Kidd had the girl stripped and cleaned up before he left town with her. Joanna had been living with the Kiowa Indians for the past four years after they had captured her, and now free from that lifestyle, she needs to make some lifestyle changes and she has some learning to do. Captain bought a wagon to make traveling easier and after he loaded up their gear, they were gone. Captain tried to teach Johanna various skills and techniques that he thought she should know and she was a quick learner. Johanna taught the Captain a few skills that she had learned from the Indians as she was growing up and the Captain soon realized that she wasn’t as helpless as he thought. Soon Johanna was jumping in to help before Captain had to ask. Needing money, they would spend the night in a town where the Captain could do one of his readings. The Captain would find someone to sit with Joanna as he wasn’t sure if she would stay while he was gone. The Captain would try to find an adult to supervise her which didn’t always work out. Many times, he would have to hunt her down as these adults were not always competent enough to watch her. Captain had a job to do but he soon began to wonder if all this hassle was worth it. I found myself drawn into the relationship of these two. Johanna is still attached to her Indian lifestyle and she wants to go back to them. She is used to the outdoors, the countryside and nature’s way of doing thing. Captain thinks of Joanna’s future: living under a roof, cooking on a stove, wearing dresses and being a proper lady and he doesn’t know how she will manage these changes or if she will. I liked how Captain was determined only to read what he thought was proper during his readings. He did not want fights or arguments to occur them and he stood up to others when they questioned him about what he read. When I read the synopsis of this novel, I was skeptical whether this novel would be something I would enjoy. This novel surprised me as once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I’m glad the book club choose this novel as it is something I would have never picked up on my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago