Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of News of the World.
How did the reading treat you this week? I absolutely loved this first section, but I have to admit it took me a couple of pages to get into the story. I think what threw me was the fact that there weren't any quotation marks for the dialogue. I don't know if I've ever read a book that didn't use quotation marks. Once I got used to that, I flew through the first section.
In this section, we get to know Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd pretty well. Once I got to know the character and knew how much he traveled and exposed himself to dangerous situations, I was surprised by his age. I assumed, since he was doing all of those things, that he was a younger man. I couldn't believe he was in his seventies. I definitely appreciated how he treated Johanna like a little girl, not like a savage beast. He was the best person to take her on the journey back to her family. What did you think of the section where we traveled back in time and learned about the Captain's past war experience? That definitely helped make his a more realistic and fleshed out character.
What did you think of Johanna in this section? It was interesting that she had no memory of her life before she was with the Kiowa. I felt so sorry for her throughout this section since she had experienced so much loss throughout her short life. I can't even imagine how sad and scared she was. She really had to trust that the Captain had her best interests in mind. The part where they ran into those soldiers and she was so scared was really sad. She definitely saw adults doing very scary things to each other, so it's understandable that she was so skittish around people.
Did you appreciate having some of Johanna's thoughts displayed throughout these chapters? I was glad to understand why some of the things we would consider "normal" were so scary to her. Things like pointing at oneself or saying "an enchanting naming word" were very scary to her, and I was glad to have a little context as to why those things were affecting her.
This section ended with Simon and Doris losing track of Johanna while the Captain was reading the news. I understand why she ran away, and I understand why she wanted to catch the attention of the Kiowa she saw, but that whole thing was so scary. A lot of people could have gotten really injured. I'm glad they were all safe, and I'm glad the Captain went out looking for her. I think other people might not have risked their safety to chase after her.
What other things stood out to you in this section? Did you like the chapters? Are you excited to read more? Do you have any idea what might happen to the main characters as the book progresses?
If you're interested in some of the newspapers that Captain Kidd might have been reading from, check out this link with1870's Texas newspapers. I love looking at old newspapers. I'm always so surprised by how small the print is and how many stories are put on one page. If you are really curious, you can check out some non-Texas newspapers here.
Before you go, check out a clip from the movie version in which Captain Kidd reads the news. Do you think you would like to go to an event where someone reads the news aloud?
Thanks for joining us this week. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this section in the comments. Make sure to read through chapter 14 for next week!