Rebekah Manley

Coordinator, Texas Center for the Book

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 • Austin, Texas • News Release


  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 Texas’ Great Read 2017.  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.


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.

 “Reading fiction is very important for Texans of all ages,” notes Jiles. “It takes you away to the world of the imagination. We need all kinds of different activities for our brains, it’s like the four food groups,” she adds.

 “Reading remains one of the most powerful forces for growth and happiness in our individual lives,” said Rebekah Manley, coordinator for the Texas Center for the Book. “That is why promoting reading and literature to people of all ages is one of the most critical tasks for librarians, parents, and educators,” she added. “We are so pleased that Texas will be represented by such a great book at the  National Book Festival.”

 For more information on News of the World  including access to discussion guides, classroom resources, multi-media video clips and more visit One of 50 state centers affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Texas Center for the Book is under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission Building in Austin, Texas.