Paulette Jiles’s News of the World Chosen as Texas’ Great Read 2017


My name is Paulette Jiles, I’m the author of News of the World, which is Texas’s Great Read for 2017. Every year the Library of
Congress invites book lovers from across the United States to celebrate the joy
of the written word at the National Book Festival in Washington DC. Each state
chooses their own great read, a title that highlights the unique qualities and
characteristics of the individual states represented at the festival. This year the
Texas Center for the Book has chosen my book, News of the World, as Texas
great read. The hero of the News of the World is a man in his 70s. His name is
Jefferson Kyle Kidd and he travels around Texas reading from newspapers in
1870. And he’s asked to take a young girl, ten years old, back to her relatives. She’s
recently been recovered, a captive recovered from the Kiowa. She eats with
her hands, she doesn’t wear any shoes, she swims in the river with very little
clothes on and scandalizes everyone around. And this is what the captain has
to deal with as well as bandits, hunger, bad roads, flooding rivers, and so on and
so it’s supposed to be a very lively book. Reading fiction is very important for Texans of
all ages. It takes you away to the world of the imagination. We need all kinds of
different activities with our brains it’s like the four food groups and
for Texans the four food groups are steak, steak, fish, and pie. But we need one of those mind groups is the world of the imagination. When your mother used to say “once upon a time…” you were immediately moved into that world, that’s healthy, you
need it. For more information on the Texas Center for the Book, visit tsl.texas.gov/centerforthebook

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