Jiles, Paulette. News of the World
Booklist Reviews 2016 May #2
*Starred Review* In the winter of 1970, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd has made a fairly comfortable living in northern Texas. He travels from town to town, reading current news of ratified amendments and polar expeditions to (mostly) attentive audiences. When he's asked to deliver a 10-year-old German girl back to her relatives in San Antonio in exchange for $50 in gold, he agrees. Johanna's parents had been killed by the Kiowa, but she was spared and was raised as one of their own for four years. Captain Kidd finds that Johanna, now in his care, has lost nearly all memory of her language, comportment, and upbringing. Facing a 400-mile journey filled with threats of ambush and an uncooperative charge, Captain Kidd wonders if his choice to deliver the girl was the right one. Jiles' background as a poet is particularly evident when the captain and Johanna learn how to communicate, bantering bits of their respective languages back and forth. Jiles' lyrical style and minimal punctuation allow the reader to become immersed in the dusty Texan landscape, witnessing the anguish, fear, compassion, and joy in the unlikely pair's journey, which will appeal to fans of Tracy Chevalier and Geraldine Brooks. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2015 October #2
After the Civil War, Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels around northern Texas, reading newspapers aloud to paying crowds. Then he agrees to return ten-year-old Johanna, raised among the Kiowa after they killed her parents, to relatives 400 miles south in San Antonio. From New York Times best-selling author Jiles, twice long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.[Page 60]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
LJ Reviews 2015 December #1
Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an army veteran, makes his living in 1870 as a "reader" who travels around north Texas reading from various newspapers to a dime-a-head audience. A septuagenarian, he undertakes a 400-mile odyssey from Wichita Falls, TX, to San Antonio with a reluctant Johanna Leonberger, who has no memory of her life before she was kidnapped by the Kiowa Indians. Along the way, the ten-year-old warms up to the widowed captain as they face a number of perilous encounters. After venturing away from historical fiction to try her hand at dystopian fiction in Lighthouse Island, Canadian American author Jiles returns to mining lush Texas history and resurrecting some of the characters from 2009's The Color of Lightening in this tale. VERDICT This Western is not to be missed by Jiles's fans and lovers of Texan historical fiction. The final chapter's solid resolution will satisfy those who like to know what ultimately becomes of beloved characters. [See Prepub Alert, 9/21/15.]—Wendy W. Paige, Shelby Cty. P.L., Morristown, IN[Page 93]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2016 August #4
Jiles delivers a taut, evocative story of post–Civil War Texas in this riveting drama of a redeemed captive of the Kiowa tribe. Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly widower, earns his living traveling around, reading news stories to gatherings of townspeople. While reading in Wichita Falls one evening in the winter of 1870, he sees an old acquaintance. Britt Johnson, the main character in Jiles's The Color of Lightning, has just come through Indian Country with his crew. The men are returning a 10-year-old girl to her aunt and uncle in Castroville after she spent four years with the Kiowa. A free black man, Britt is reluctant to have a white child in his custody. He persuades the Captain to escort young Johanna on the remainder of the three-week journey. The Captain, who has grown daughters of his own, at first feels sorry for the girl. Johanna considers herself Kiowa; she chafes at wearing shoes and a dress, struggles to pronounce American words. Challenges and dangers confront the two during their journey, and they become attached. Jiles unfolds the stories of the Captain and Johanna, past and present, with the smooth assuredness of a burnished fireside tale, demonstrating that she is a master of the western. Agent: Liz Darhansoff, Darhansoff & Verrill. (Oct.)[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC