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News Of The World by Paulette Jiles (2016)

Finished: 06/22/21

Grade: A

In a lawless North Texas, after the civil war, aging newspaper barker Captain Kidd is tasked with returning a young girl who had been captured by Kiowa Indians to her birth family.

Is there a term for novels about cantankerous old men reluctantly agreeing to take care of a precocious young girl, and then slowly growing to love her over time? Elderbait? Grandpacore? Chicken Soup For Your Dad’s Soul?

Whatever you want to call it, News of The World is a strong entry in the canon. A showcase of simplicity in storytelling set on the well-worn backdrop of the American West. Sort of what would happen if you took a background character in your favorite Western and said “Ok, enough about sheriff John Brown and the Tennessee kid, what’s that guy’s story” An easy adventure, with enough depth to give you that feeling of gaining something. A really solid novel. And now a major motion picture. Go figure!

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