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

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

Book - 2016
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"A peasant girl and her holy greyhound, an oblate on a mission from his monastery, and a young Jewish boy travel across medieval France to escape persecution and save holy texts from being burned"--
Publisher: New York, NY :, Dutton Children's Books,, [2016]
ISBN: 9780525426165
0525426167
Characteristics: 363 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Aly, Hatem - Illustrator

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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."

d
darladoodles
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!

m
mslibrarynerd
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.

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marthabwaters
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

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ningdu
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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