News of the World
by Paulette Jiles
Jefferson Kyle Kidd, or the Captain, as he is referred to through much of the book, is in his early 70s and makes his living travelling through northern Texas reading newspapers to information-starved and curious audiences.
Johannah Leonberger was kidnapped by Kiowa Indians when she was six. Freed at the age of ten she has little memory of time before her capture and yearns to be returned to the Kiowas. Through a chance meeting with an old acquaintance, the Captain takes on the responsibility of transporting Johannah the 400 miles back to what is left of her family.
As they travel across the dangerous landscape of 1870’s Texas, the Captain and Johannah slowly form an uneasy alliance that grows into a bond of trust and affection. When, after weeks of hard and dangerous travel, they arrive at their destination, the Captain finds that Johanna’s Aunt and Uncle choose to regard her as an unwanted burden. Suddenly, the Captain finds himself face to face with a moral dilemma for which he feels ill-prepared.