2018 News of the World
by Paulette Jiles


2018 Galveston Reads Selection: News of the World by Paulette Jiles


News of the WorldThe 2018 Galveston Reads Book Choice is News of the World, by Paulette Jiles, author of Enemy Women. A National Book Award finalist, this novel tells the story of a news reader that, while traveling the antebellum south is offered $50 to bring an orphan girl back to her family in San Antonio.

The aging itinerant 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 the young orphan to her relatives. 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.

At a glance

Galveston Reads, a popular volunteer-driven “One Community, One Book” program operating under the organizational umbrella of the Rosenberg Library, provides an opportunity for all residents high school age through senior citizens to participate in a unique communitywide discussion by reading and sharing views about the same book.

In its 15th season, the Galveston Reads series promotes community involvement in Galveston County with a wide range of events, activities, and thoughtful discussions.

If you cannot attend but would still like to volunteer, contact Dustan Archer, darcher@rosenberg-library.org or (409) 763 - 8854 ext. 140. Meeting attendance is not required to participate.



Page last updated: 07/29/2017