News of the World by Paulette Jiles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In 1870s Texas, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd spends his days going from town to town reading selected news articles to the local townspeople for their entertainment and his pocketbook. Offering the news of the world, Kidd, a veteran and hero of three wars, travels a circuit around north Texas, far from his own home in San Antonio. He is approached by a freed slave, Britt Johnson, who has saved a young 10-year old girl that had been abducted by a tribe of Kiowa Indians. She is the only survivor of her immediate family in a brutal massacre. Johnson is able to convince Kidd to take young Johanna Leonberger back to her aunt and uncle in Castroville, TX, not far from San Antonio.
During the trip, Johanna, who now only understands the language of the Kiowas, learns to communicate with Kidd and forms a bond on their long trip home. In typical western fashion, the two fight off Indians and bad guys, and stop along the way to visit the people of the local towns and read the news of the world.
This is such a great story with a heartfelt ending. I fell in love with the old man and the young girl. I most enjoyed reading about Texas in the 1870s as the two made their way across the state. I'm looking forward to reading more of Jiles' work.
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