The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

By: Adam Gidwitz

Illustrator: Hatem Aly

2017 Newbery Honor
Medieval times in France is the setting for this exciting and hilarious new adventure about history, religion—and farting dragons. Black-and-white illustrations.

ISBN: 9780525426165

JLG Release: Nov 2016


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination, Violence, Alcohol, Body humor
Topics: Medieval history , Religons , Judaism , Christianity , Islam , Magic , Miracles

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Awards & Honors

The Kirkus Prize 2016 Nominee, Young Readers
SLJ’s Best Books of 2016, Middle Grade
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2016, Middle-Grade
NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children 2017, Recommended
Booklist 2016 Top 10 Books for Youth, Religion & Spirituality
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2016, Middle Grade
The New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2016, Middle Grade
Booklist 2016 Editors’ Choice, Books for Youth, Middle Readers, Fiction
ALSC Notable Children’s Books 2017, Older Readers
Booklist Top 10 Books for Youth 2017, Historical Fiction
E. B. White Read-Aloud Award 2017 Finalist, Middle Reader
2017 Capitol Choices, Ten to Fourteen
The Washington Post Best Children’s and Young Adult Books of 2016
2016 National Jewish Book Award Finalist, Children’s Literature

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Book List*, The Horn Book Magazine*, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
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
[STARRED REVIEW]
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

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
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 dr
[STARRED REVIEW]
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

Book Details

ISBN

9780525426165

First Release

November 2016

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

6" x 9"

Page Count

368

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.5; Points: 11;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 3.5; Points: 18;

Lexile

Level 620L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Dutton

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination, Violence, Alcohol, Body humor

Topics

Medieval history, Religons, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Magic, Miracles,

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