News of the World by Paulette Jiles

 

This was a short but interesting little read. Set in Texas during Reconstruction, a man who travels the land reading news articles at public gatherings, has an orphan girl who was kidnapped by the Kiowa, foisted upon him to return her to her aunt and uncle.

The little girl was taken at age 6 and at age 10 has gone fully native Kiowa. She remembers little English or German (her native tongue) and an aunt and uncle who live south of San Antonio, have commissioned people traveling the road to bring her back.

The news reader is an old man now and he and the girl bond through their travels and travails through the newly opened western territories. Along the way they encounter highwaymen, cowboys, merchants, the military and various townspeople.

Each encounter assists them or hinders them in their goal to get to Castroville, Texas. The little girl turns out to be handy and resourceful and the relationship blossoms along the trails and roads of Texas.

This is not a long book but one I found charming and entertaining. If anything, it may have ended a little abruptly but I encourage readers to pick this one up if the old west and reconstruction era America interest you.

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