Reviewed by Aimee

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Now a major motion picture, News of the World is the story of two lives brought together by chance, but forever connected. These lives are those of Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a retired printer who now, post Civil War, travels around reading stories from the newspaper to anyone with a dime, and Johanna Leonberger, a 10 year old German girl who has been living with Native Americans since they killed the rest of her family. After a reading, Kidd comes upon a wrecked wagon and sees movement in woods beyond. After investigating further, he finds a young girl who acts like a wild animal and speaks no English. He finds a ledger with the wagon that shows that the girl was being taken to relatives in San Antonio when the wagon was set upon, and that her name is Johanna Leonberger. He takes her back to town with the intention of returning her to whoever was escorting her, but finds that the commander he can report to is gone and will not be back for days. Kidd needs to travel on to the next town to spread the news and make some money, so he agrees to take the girl along. After procuring provisions and a used wagon from an old friend, Kidd and Johanna set off for the next town, where Johanna is bathed and given settler’s clothes instead of the deer hides she was found in and also has a meal. As they travel together, Kidd and Johanna come to an understanding and she begins to take to him and stops trying to escape. After together thwarting an attack by three men from the town, the two begin to form a bond. They learn how to somewhat communicate with each other, and while Kidd teaches Johanna English, she teaches him some words in Kiowa. Once they arrive in San Antonio, Johanna is reluctant to leave Kidd to go live with her aunt and uncle, and Kidd himself considers whether he is doing the right thing by leaving her. Jiles’ writing is beautiful and almost lyrical, and the story is full of adventure and heart. Reading this book was like being swept back in time, and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.