Texas' Great Read 2017

News of the World By Paulette Jiles

The Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission has selected News of the World by Texas author Paulette Jiles as the 2017 Texas’ Great Read.  Each year, states are asked to highlight a book representative of the region’s literary landscape at the National Book Festival. The event is sponsored by the Library of Congress and will take place September 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C., to showcase the importance of books and reading.


Thumbnail of the News of the World Book CoverNews of the World by Paulette Jiles

News of the World is set in Texas in 1870 and offers a thrilling account of Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd and his travels from town to town giving readings from the latest newspapers. As he brings the news of the world to isolated towns on the Texas frontier, he is asked to return a once-captive girl to her relatives near San Antonio, 400 miles to the south. The old man and the 10-year-old start out on a dangerous journey, no less risky because the girl considers herself now a Kiowa and does not have the slightest desire to return to her family.

The story that ensues has earned the praise of readers of all ages. A 2016 National Book Award nominee, News of the World has been likened to True Grit. Known for her poetic and precise language, Jiles brings exquisite rendering and adventure to this story of healing, adaptation, and learning. 



Photograph of author Paulette JilesAbout the Author

Paulette Jiles was born in Salem, Missouri, in the Missouri Ozarks. Raised in small towns in both south and central Missouri, she attended three different high schools, an exhausting process of social dislocation and fashion wobbles, and with relief graduated from the University of Missouri (KC) in Romance Languages. She moved to Texas in 1995.

She now lives on a small ranch near a very small town in the Texas Hill Country with a horse and a donkey. If you want a free donkey, please let her know. She plays Irish tin whistle with a bluegrass group, sings alto in choir, rides remote trails in Texas with friends. Her horse is named Buck. News of the World was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award.




Reader/Teacher Resources

Past Texas "Great Read" Titles

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012

Cover of the book Wish Girl

 Cover of the book Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia

Cover of the book With His Pistol In His Hand: A Border Ballad and Its Hero

Cover of the book The Time It Never Rained

Cover of the book Old Yeller

Wish Girl

Nikki Loftin

Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia,

Carmen Lomas Garza

With His Pistol In His Hand: A Border Ballad and Its Hero

Americo Paredes

The Time It
Never Rained,

Elmer Kelton

Old Yeller,

Fred Gipson

Click below view suggested titles by states or download the complete lists.


Page last modified: August 17, 2018