The Inquisitor's Tale

The Inquisitor's Tale

Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

Book - 2016
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A 2017 Newbery Honor Book
Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award

An exciting and hilarious medieval adventure from the bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm . Beautifully illustrated throughout!

The Inquisitor''s Tale is one of the most celebrated children''s books of the year! ★ New York Times Bestseller ★ A New York Times Editor''s Choice ★ A New York Times Notable Children''s Book ★ A People Magazine Kid Pick ★ A Washington Post Best Children''s Book ★ A Wall Street Journal Best Children''s Book ★ An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book ★ A Booklist Best Book ★ A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book ★ A Kirkus Reviews Best Book ★ A Publishers Weekly Best Book ★ A School Library Journal Best Book ★ An ALA Notable Children''s Book

"A profound and ambitious tour de force. Gidwitz is a masterful storyteller." --Matt de la Pe#65533;a, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author

"What Gidwitz accomplishes here is staggering." -- New York Times Book Review

Includes a detailed historical note and bibliography

1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.

Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning villa≥ and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne''s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead. Told in multiple voices, in a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales , our narrator collects their stories and the saga of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.

Beloved bestselling author Adam Gidwitz makes his long awaited return with his first new world since his hilarious and critically acclaimed Grimm series. Featuring manuscript illuminations throughout by illustrator Hatem Aly and filled with Adam''s trademark style and humor, The Inquisitor''s Tale is bold storytelling that''s richly researched and adventure-packed.

" It''s no surprise that Gidwitz''s latest book has been likened to The Canterbury Tales , considering its central story is told by multiple storytellers. As each narrator fills in what happens next in the story of the three children and their potentially holy dog, their tales get not only more fantastical but also more puzzling and addictive . However, the gradual intricacy of the story that is not Gidwitz''s big accomplishment. Rather it is the complex themes (xenophobia, zealotry, censorship etc.) he is able to bring up while still maintaining a light tone, thus giving readers a chance to come to conclusions themselves. (Also, there is a farting dragon.)"--Entertainment Weekly, "Best MG Books of 2016

"Puckish, learned, serendipitous . . . Sparkling medieval adventure ." -- Wall Street Journal

★ "Gidwitz strikes literary gold with this mirthful and compulsively readable adventure story. . . . A masterpiece of storytelling that is addictive and engrossing ." -- Kirkus , starred review

★ "A well-researched and rambunctiously entertaining story that has as much to say about the present as it does the past." -- Publishers Weekly , starred review

★ "Gidwitz proves himself a nimble storyteller as he weaves history, excitement, and multiple narrative threads into a taut, inspired adventure ." -- Booklist , starred review

★ "Scatological humor, serious matter, colloquial present-day language, the ideal of diversity and mutual understanding-- this has it all ." -- The Horn Book , starred review

★ "I have never read a book like this. It''s weird, and unfamiliar, and religious, and irreligious, and more fun than it has any right to be. . . . Gidwitz is on fire here, making medieval history feel fresh and current." -- School Library Journal , starred review
Publisher: New York : Dutton Children's Books, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780525426165
Branch Call Number: J FIC Gidwi
Characteristics: 363 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Aly, Hatem - Illustrator


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JCLLizW Feb 07, 2018

One of the most beautiful children's books I've ever read, the Inquisitor's Tale portrays three fantastical children who are in trouble with the king of France. The tale is told from several characters' perspectives with each person contributing a new piece to the puzzle. Although there are many magical things in this story, the characters' troubles are much like the problems suffered by real people in Medieval France - specifically anyone who was not rich or Catholic or white or male. Luckily, the book does an excellent job at transitioning back and forth from deeply emotional to humorous.

The audiobook is really good but you should also get a physical copy because the illuminations (the medieval version of illustrations) are super cool. Author Adam Gidwitz did a great job of researching the period for this book and the author's note at the end is a must-read if you love the book (which I'm sure you will).

MissLacie Apr 04, 2017

An amazing tale, told from multiple viewpoints, about 3 unlikely heroes and their ghostly dog.

JCLChrisK Feb 16, 2017

A table at an inn in Medieval France, its revolving occupants swapping stories over ale. The inn is packed. Butchers and brewers, peasants and priests, knights and nobodies. The stories are about three children and their dog. More specifically, the past week in the lives of those three children and their dog. Stories shared by the various people who have had encounters with them during that week, seen them perform miraculous feats, experience tragedies, meet each other, travel to places they never imagined, meet people they never imagined, and become first guests of then hunted enemies of the king.

"I have seen many a strange thing. Strange beasts. Strange sights. Strange men. But never have I seen anything so strange as what I saw when I met these children you're asking about."

Collecting the tales about the children is the unifying narrator who seeks to quietly learn the truth about them, the titular inquisitor. Each tale is entertaining, suspenseful, sometimes shocking, and often humorous. Woven together, they create a larger narrative picture that is even more tense, dramatic, and gripping. The children are equal parts tangible, sympathetic, flawed, convicted, and heroic. The tellers each have distinct personalities whose storytelling voices reveal as much about them as they do the children. The whole of it becomes a compelling examination of society, past and present. Intertwined with knights groping through dung heaps and dragons with combustible farts are meditations on theology, race relations, class distinctions, religious condemnation, art, literature, compassion, and more. The culture of the High Middle Ages is vividly portrayed--feeling both foreign and pertinent at the same time--through the magical, perilous adventures of these children and those who know them.

This is a unique, engaging, moving, and meaningful book.

"Zealots kill, and the victims retaliate with killing, and the cycle continues, extending forward and backward in history, apparently without end. I can think of nothing sane to say about this except this book."

Feb 16, 2017

This was a tale with many twists and turns and I really liked it. It is loosely based on the style of the Canterbury Tales so most of the chapters of the book are the tales being told to the narrator of the book at an inn in France. I didn't really think too hard about why the guy was listening to all these accounts about the children and then he reveals who he is . . .

The book is full of action some humorous moments mixed in. Kids will enjoy it as a readaloud -- so many cliffhangers.

The author's notes at the end actually raised my opinion of the book even more. The book was thoroughly researched and it was really helpful to see the background on the plot elements.

AL_KELSEY Nov 21, 2016

This fun, knights-of-old tale will keep you guessing as each townsperson relates their account of these three supernatural children. This book addresses good versus evil, and who really decides which is which. This story is a great Tween read!

Oct 26, 2016

I deeply loved this book and the themes of tolerance, forgiveness, and friendship are so pressing for our current social situations. This book balance humor, sincerity, and violence in a way that I expect it's intended audience would enjoy.

Oct 02, 2016

It apparently took Gidwitz 6 years to research and write this book, and it shows -- it is chock-full of details about life in the Middle Ages, but he manages to include these details in a way that feels natural, rather than leaving the reader feeling like they're being given a history lesson, or pelted with random facts. I think this book works on several levels -- it's an impressive feat of historical fiction, what with how meticulously researched it is; the fantasy elements are incorporated seamlessly; the overall plot of the book is cleverly structured and everything comes together beautifully in the end; and the book is anchored by three interesting, well developed main characters. This has been getting a lot of buzz, and I can see why -- it is just a very good book.

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AL_JESSICA May 22, 2017

AL_JESSICA thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Sep 28, 2016

ningdu thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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cmlibrary_jcurrie Apr 28, 2017

This story is told by several different narrators, all who have heard about a group of magical children. The group of three includes William who is from a monastery, Jacob a Jewish boy, and Jeanne a girl who has visions of the future. They are joined by Jeanne’s dog Gwenforte who has recently been raised from the dead. The children are making their way through France and have many adventures, some scarier than others. While traveling the children meet the King of France. At first he enjoys meeting this magical group of children but then he realizes that they don’t have the same religious beliefs as him. In fact the children are trying to save the books of the Jewish people, these are the same books that the King has ordered to be burned. When the King learns that the children are planning something to save the books, he orders his army to capture them. They escape from the castle and lead them all on a chase around France. This is a fun and exciting tale based on legends and bits of history from the Middle Ages.


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