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The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog DGS REP Edition
Contributor(s): Gidwitz, Adam, Aly, Hatem (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0142427373     ISBN-13: 9780142427378
Publisher: Puffin
    OUR PRICE: $8.99  
Product Type: Paperback
Published: March 2018
Annotation: Crossing paths at an inn, thirteenth-century travelers impart the tales of a monastery oblate, a Jewish refugee, and a psychic peasant girl with a loyal greyhound, the three of whom join forces on a chase through France to escape persecution.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Friars; Fiction.
Jews; Fiction.
Prophets; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical | Medieval
- Juvenile Fiction | Legends, Myths, Fables
- Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2018037767
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 7.00" W x 1.00" (1.00 lbs) 363 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 184503
Reading Level: 4.5   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 11.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q69439
Reading Level: 3.5   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 18.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Adam Gidwitz is the author of the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling Grimm trilogy. He spent six years researching and writing The Inquisitor’s Tale, including a year living in Europe. Adam lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY. Find Adam online at or @AdamGidwitz.

Hatem Aly is an Egyptian-born illustrator whose work has been featured on television and in multiple publications worldwide. He currentlylives in New Brunswick, Canada, with his wife, son, and more pets than people. Find him online at or @metahatem.

From the Hardcover edition.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Spring)
In thirteenth-century France, peasant Jeanne has visions of the future; William, illegitimate son of a crusader knight and an African "Saracen," has supernatural strength; Jacob, a learned Jewish boy, has healing powers. Together they try to thwart King Louis's plan to burn all the Jewish texts in France. An ambitious mash-up of medieval saints' lives, the Joan of Arc legend, and elements of The Canterbury Tales. Bib. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2016 #6)
An ambitious mash-up of medieval saints' lives, the Joan of Arc legend, thirteenth-century French history, and elements of The Canterbury Tales, Gidwitz's hopeful story of interreligious understanding is more fantasy than historical fiction. Three children with marvelous abilities band together and draw the ire of King Louis IX. Peasant Jeanne has visions of the future; William, illegitimate son of a crusader knight and an African "Saracen," has supernatural strength; Jacob, a learned Jewish boy, has healing powers. Together they try to thwart King Louis's plan to burn all the Jewish texts in France, and thus the trio becomes the object of a countrywide hunt. Drinking together at an inn, an inquisitor, nun, Jewish butcher, jongleur, and several others relate the bits of the children's adventure they know—a series of "tales" that make a single narrative. The historical improbabilities of the story are many (and seemingly intentional), but its qualities as miracle tale tip readers to its fantastical nature (witness the episode of "the dragon with deadly farts"). Gidwitz presents moral issues that are currently relevant, and gives several theological arguments about good and evil a brisk, accessible airing. Scatological humor, serious matter, colloquial present-day language, the ideal of diversity and mutual understanding—this has it all. deirdre f. baker Copyright 2016 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2016 July #2)

In 1242 France, weary travelers at an inn trade stories about three miraculous children and their dog, Gwenforte, who has returned from the dead. The children—Jeanne, a peasant girl who has visions of the future; William, an oblate of partial African heritage with uncanny strength; and Jacob, a Jewish boy with the power to heal the sick and injured—are the subject of much rumor and debate. Are they saints, frauds, or in league with the devil? Gidwitz (the Grimm trilogy) continues to toy with narrative in a well-researched and rambunctiously entertaining story that has as much to say about the present as it does the past. Evoking the oral storytelling traditions of the time, multiple characters including a nun, troubadour, and brewer alternately describe their encounters with the children to produce the whole story. Amid mugs upon mugs of ale, the tale that comes into focus is one of religious persecution and faith, friendships that transcend difference, and a dangerously flatulent dragon—Gidwitz continues to have no problem mixing high and low. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10–up. Author's agent: Sarah Burnes, Gernert Company. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2016 August)

Gr 5–10—What is a miracle? Is a miracle what happens when, faced with murderous bandits, a teenage monk rips a leg off his donkey, beats them to death with it, then restores the donkey's leg? Or is it a miracle when a cranky innkeeper is so moved by a little girl's friendliness that he risks his life to help her and her companions flee a posse of armed knights? Maybe the real miracle happens when readers attracted to the action and violence a particular author is known for find themselves strongly invested in the moral questions that plague bandit-killing monk and friendly peasant girl alike—along with every other character they encounter, from a young minstrel/pickpocket to Louis IX. Gidwitz's tale of medieval France successfully combines the epic with the personal, aiming for that heart-stopping moment when characters readers have come to care about find themselves on a collision course with one of the great wood chippers of history—the Inquisition, agents of which are in hot pursuit of three underdog characters (and one actual dog) from the very start. It is left to the titular Inquisitor to discover the truth behind the legends that quickly rise to surround these kids. He nudges it from each of the travelers at a roadside inn, the narrative tension rising as each facet is revealed. VERDICT This book appeals to the heart, to the mind, and to any reader's appetite for action: read it for the thrilling escapes, the fart jokes, the stinky cheese, and the palace intrigue. Read it for the Talmudic wisdom, commonsense philosophies, and moments of doubt. Read it for the palaces and monasteries and the unbelievable descriptions of food. But read it.—Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson

[Page 88]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2016 December)

Gr 4–8—A hodgepodge of different narrators in 1242 France introduce readers to three unusual children and one remarkable dog. As their individual stories unfold and their paths collide, tension reaches a fever pitch as an agent of the Inquisition nips at their heels. Gidwitz's epic medieval adventure packs in boisterous action, richly depicted history, and lovable underdog characters, all illuminated by Aly's stunning artwork. The Middle Ages have never been as exciting or as funny.

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal.