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

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  9,508 ratings  ·  2,020 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 363 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  9,508 ratings  ·  2,020 reviews

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God’s hot this year.

To be fair, God has had some fairly strong supporters for quite some time. So if I’m going to clarify that statement a tad, God’s hot in children’s literature this year. Even then, that sentence is pretty vague. Here in America there are loads of Christian book publishers out there, systematically putting out title after title after title each and every year about God, to say nothing of publishers of other religions as well. Their production hasn’t increased hugely in 2016,
I finished this book last night teetering on the verge of tears. Not because it's a sad ending, although there is sorrow, and not because it's a happy ending, although there's a lot to be glad about. But because I LIVED with these children (and their holy dog) through 368 pages of fear and hardship and friendship and doubt and certainty and at times it was hard to tell whether or not things were going to turn out ok - this is, after all, an author who feels free to kill and (sometimes) resurrect ...more
"To review: We have a dog that's been resurrected, a peasant girl who sees the future, a supernaturally strong oblate, and a Jewish boy with the power of miraculous healing."

The children almost laughed in the silence that followed. When you put it that way, it sounded rather insane.

That pretty much sums it up - three children and a dog go on a grand adventure in an attempt to stop a massive book burning. I doubt there are few Goodreads members who would not champion their cause. Though not as f
Lesley Burnap
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the entire book in one day. Could only keep turning the page. One of my favorite books read. Ever. Too soon to call for a medal? I may still be caught up in the heady afterglow of spending all day with Mr Gidwitz's book. Please read it. ...more
So fabulously strange! It reminded me of The Book of Boy, in all the best ways! I read this aloud to my kids, and we all loved it, even digging in to the Author's Note at the back about the historical influences. Definitely the perfect book for history buffs or those who like a good adventure! ...more
Abby Johnson
I loved this so hard that I didn't want it to end (and that's high praise because finishing books and starting new ones is one of my very favorite things).

The format reads like the Canterbury Tales with different narrators at a medieval inn trading off and telling the story of three children who are on a mission and who may or may not be saints (complete with miracles). It's a diverse group of children - Jeanne, a peasant girl who has visions of the future; William, a half-African student with
Gabrielle Schwabauer
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-challenge
I have a lot of feelings about this book, and I'm not sure how to make them mesh with one another. It's so solidly a 3.5 star read for me that even as I write this review, I'm not sure whether I'll end up rating it 3 stars or 4.

What worked for me:
- The three children are lovable, believable, and interesting. I appreciated that they came to the situation with their own natural ingrained prejudices instead of being the too-modern-for-their-time characters that usually appear in historical fiction
Josh Newhouse
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 16july
This is a tough book to review. I personally loved it... It flowed quickly, had great voice, characters and character... Had a nice ending... Made a few turns that even surprised me... Had some great research behind it... 5 stars for me... And my fellow librarians and youth reviewers...

Now for students... There's a good solid half I think kids will enjoy... There's another quarter they will make it through... However I am not sure what type of students will complete this entire book... It is dee
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
When Adam Gidwitz won a 2017 Newbery Honor for The Inquisitor's Tale; Or, the Three Magical Children and their Holy Dog, I was elated. I considered his debut novel, A Tale Dark & Grimm, worthy of Newbery recognition in 2011, so to see Adam Gidwitz finally join the hallowed ranks of Newbery authors such as Rachel Field, E.B. White, Robert C. O'Brien, and Jacqueline Woodson was tremendously satisfying. The Inquisitor's Tale spirits us back to the year 1242, at an ordinary inn during a tumultuous t ...more
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I like how the story is never told by the main characters themselves. This book had a lot of action. Adam Gidwitz made this story seem longer than it actually is.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it
As some of you who follow the blog know, I study medieval literature, so I really, really wanted to like The Inquisitor's Tale.  The world simply needed a middle grade novel inspired by Saint Guinefort (a greyhound who really did acquire his own cult during the Middle Ages).  Touches of Joan of Arc and other historical figures make this book right up my alley. So I'm sad to say I was bored through most of the book, and I really don't think I would have enjoyed it if I'd read it as a child.

Most o
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Okay. Three children with magical powers going on an adventure with a dog. Nothing special, to be honest. They're definitely gonna end up saving the world or something heroic like that.


Rather than telling it's readers about predictable, overtold adventures, this book tells more about religion, persecution, prejudice, and farting dragons. Especially the last one.

I really enjoyed reading Adam Gidwitz's "The Inquisitor's Tale". Not only because it was informative (in a way), but also because
Michael Finocchiaro
Absolutely love all the books I have read from Adam Gidwitz so far and The Inquisitor’s Tale was no exception. A fantastic story set in the middle ages with beautiful characters, fast-moving action, beautiful artwork in the marginalia, and such a wonderful set of values that it transmits. My son and I are all in for these excellent books!
Mar 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019-caudills
Just edited because realized I wrote advise not advice at the end haha

The Inquisitor’s Tale wins the award for most excuses made to not read a book. And longest time ever taken to read a book. And the most uninteresting book ever.

I came up with countless reasons why I shouldn’t read the book. Need examples? Here:

“Should I play piano or read this book? I’ll play piano.”

“It’s 1 A.M. in the morning and I can’t go to sleep. What should I do? Knit or read? I’ll knit.

“Should I do my Greek school home
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-books
I have no words. I cannot adequately describe it. Other than a Jewish boy, an oblate and a peasant girl. And a greyhound. I do not say this lightly...but I believe this book might have just given me my faith back. In God. In the universe. In goodness. In wisdom. In what is right.
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So thoroughly researched. Absolutely love how many different tales were woven together. And what a wonderful message of inclusion and respecting differences of others for today's kids. ...more
Book Riot Community
I read this and am simultaneously listening to it on Audible with my daughter. It is a perfectly delightful experience in both formats. In print, I adored the lovely illuminations and marginalia. On audio, the various actors give new layers to an already rich and complex story. The story itself is so sweet and fun and just exactly what I wanted to read right now. I loved it so much, and my daughter is loving it as well. I’m a medievalist so this really rang my bell to see a YA medieval fiction t ...more
Mary Ann
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a recent interview in The Horn Book, Adam Gidwitz talks about his teaching days as being filled with "serious fun" -- I love that concept. Yes, kids love having fun, laughing, sharing silly or gross stories. They also love to dig into serious topics and want us adults to ask for their opinions.

Gidwitz has legions of fans for his exciting, engrossing retellings of Grimm's tales. In his newest book, he tackles medieval life, religious intolerance and the power of deep loyal friendship--all with
This tale begins in 1242, an unlikely group of children Jeanne, William, and Jacob along with a Jeanne's greyhound, Gwenforte, find themselves traveling through France to Mont Saint-Michel. All three are gifted, and at times cursed, as saints. The miracles they perform are often as seen as heresy. While they run from the prejudice of their families and fellow villagers, the king sends knights after them so they can be prosecuted. I had a bit of trouble with the telling of this story. There were ...more
Sophie Brookover
Probably the best book I've read this year. It's sort of a medieval Fellowship of the Ring where the group is three kids (a girl & two boys, one a Jewish healer and the other a very tall, strong biracial monk) & a miracle-performing dog who find themselves on the run from the King of France due to...blasphemy, pretty much? It's a great adventure and a really moving meditation on humanity. Seek it out, read it, share it with any kids in your life. A solid read-next for the fan of A Proud Taste fo ...more
Aryana Parmar
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-caudills
I absolutely despised this book, but I'll be nice and give it two stars. But like, I actually had reasons: When the different people at the inn were telling different parts of the story, like, there was no difference in any of them. Like, I know that's the author's style, but I felt like the same person was talking all throughout the story. Even though there were supposed to be many different narrators. So that's actually my number reason. Also, it was just really slow and boring, and I mean, I ...more
May 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed Adam Gidwitz’s Grimm series. Similar to that trilogy, the idea behind The Inquisitor’s Tale is smart and creative: a medieval setting with multiple narrators and designed to resemble an illuminated manuscript. In short, I put The Inquisitor’s Tale on hold the minute my library had it listed on their catalog.

So it pains me to say that child me would have hated this book, and adult me didn’t particularly enjoy it. The Inquisitor’s Tale is the sort of children’s book that will win a lot o
Phil Jensen
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hey! Wanna read the greatest children's book passage from 2016? Here it is:

At last, Jacob said, “Well, you can always come with me to Saint-Denis.”
William bellowed, “Saint-Denis? My ass!”
Jacob and Jeanne both blinked and stared at William. “What?”
“Where is my ass?” William shouted.
Jacob started to giggle. “Say that again?”
“Where in God’s name is my ass!?” William bellowed, standing up. “What did you do with it?”
Jeanne and Jacob were both giggling now. Jeanne managed to say, “What ar
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-review
***Based on the ARC***
A winsome tale full of humor and adventure that will leave readers asking serious questions about religion and the meaning of it all. While most young readers will not understand the menace behind the "inquisitor" in the title, they will take the word at face value. This is a tale told by asking questions.

I enjoyed how the story built upon itself in layers with several starts and stops and revisions. It is as much a story about the telling of stories as it is the story its
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish Goodreads had a "Currently Listening" button.

Borrow some of the narrative structure & settings of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, add some medieval fairy tale elements and an out-of-time Joan of Arc-type girl, a Jewish boy, and a young African monk and a resurrected dog who form a band dodging pogroms, anti-Semites, witch hunters and book burners; toss in a tragicomic cameo from a deadly farting dragon and you get the gist of the Inquisitor's Tale. There was bit too much religion for me (and
Lauren Waters
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the beginning of this book, and I enjoyed learning about the different characters and their unique abilities. The author also superbly weaved the different stories together. As much as I liked the start of this novel, I found myself losing interest towards the middle as the plot continued to drag on.
Christopher Xia
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Set in France in 1242 and told in the style of Medieval travel tales, The Inquisitor's Tale follows three children who are either heretics or saints, depending on how one views their accomplishments. Jeanne, a peasant girl, has "fits" and sees visions of the future. William, son of an African mother and French crusader father, is both exceptionally bright as well as big and strong. Jacob, a Jewish boy, can heal with plants and prayers. Along with the saintly dog Gwenforte, these three children t ...more
Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Adam Gidwitz is the Christopher Moore of Middle Grade fiction. Not the Moore of The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove or Bloodsucking Fiends, but the Moore of Lamb and Fool—funny, irreverent, not above a good fart joke, and way more intelligent than you would gather from a casual read. The Inquisitor's Tale is maybe not as broadly humorous as his Grimm tales (though it is certainly not lacking in humor) nor is it as meta-fictional (though the narrator does inject himself into the story). It is, ins ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
I am sorry so Mr. Gidwitz. I did not care for this book. I got bored of it after William left the monastery. There were a few times it got interesting hear and there, but there were many times I wanted to abandoned the book, but held on to the end because everybody and I mean everybody is loving this book. Why two stars? If I am going to abandon a book so many times, why did I not rate it one star? I can appreciate the researched history, the rich vocabulary and the writing, but it took me so lo ...more
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