The Inquisitor's Tale,
Or the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog
by Adam Gidwitz
Rating: (Worth Reading)
It is the year 1242, and in France, three children are on the run, to escape prejudice and persecution and to save precious and holy texts from being burned. All three are outcasts - William, a young brown-skinned monk; Jacob, a Jewish boy; 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.
Their adventures take them on a chase through France. They’re taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. And as their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, will France consider them heretics or saints?
Appropriate for: Ages 12+
- The book has an unconventional narration device which may confuse younger readers, and there is reference to violence many times (including descriptions of martydom of Christian saints).
Read This Book For These Reasons:
- Well-researched background about the medieval ages
- Relatable set of main characters, considered as outcasts in medieval society (a dark-skinned boy, a peasant girl, a jewish boy).
- Worthy message about tolerance and respecting knowledge, irrespective of the source.
Things to Keep in Mind about this book:
- There are references to one of the main characters ("William") who is born out of wedlock, as being a "child of sin" and a "bastard".
- There are many references to violence.
- Some of the violence is cartoonish (for example, William, rips out a donkey's leg, defends himself with it, and then reattaches it to the donkey - the donkey is unharmed).
- But other references are gruesome, including details of martydom of Christian saints, a Jewish village being burnt by drunk youth, as well as one of the main characters being burnt alive (he survives).
- God resides in every being; be tolerant of every good human.
- Cherish knowledge regardless of the source.
Meggie (Rating: Worth Reading)
Plot: I really liked how this book was told from different points of view, so we got to hear what everybody thought of the characters. I liked how the stories of each of the people stitch together to tell the entire story.
It wasn't scary, but it wasn't exciting as Dragon Rider.
Main Characters: The characters were really brave, they tried to steal from the king the books that were going to be burnt. I liked Michael because he saved Jacob's life.
Favorite part of the book: When the king surrendered to the three kids.
Least Favorite part: When Michelangelo got stuck with the fire and almost died.
Mo (Rating: Exceptional)