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

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grade 5n/a4.574487
A 2017 Newbery Honor Book
Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award

An exciting and hilarious medieval adventure from the bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm. Beautifully illustrated throughout!

The Inquisitor's Tale is one of the most celebrated children's books of the year! ★ New York Times Bestseller ★ A New York Times Editor’s Choice ★ A New York Times Notable Children’s Book ★ A People Magazine Kid Pick ★ A Washington Post Best Children’s Book ★ A Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book ★ An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book ★ A Booklist Best Book ★ A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book ★ A Kirkus Reviews Best Book ★ A Publishers Weekly Best Book ★ A School Library Journal Best Book ★ An ALA Notable Children's Book

“A profound and ambitious tour de force. Gidwitz is a masterful storyteller.” —Matt de la Peña, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author

“What Gidwitz accomplishes here is staggering." —New York Times Book Review

Includes a detailed historical note and bibliography

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 quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.

Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; 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. Told in multiple voices, in a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, our narrator collects their stories and the saga of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.

Beloved bestselling author Adam Gidwitz makes his long awaited return with his first new world since his hilarious and critically acclaimed Grimm series. Featuring manuscript illuminations throughout by illustrator Hatem Aly and filled with Adam’s trademark style and humor, The Inquisitor's Tale is bold storytelling that’s richly researched and adventure-packed.


It’s no surprise that Gidwitz’s latest book has been likened to The Canterbury Tales, considering its central story is told by multiple storytellers. As each narrator fills in what happens next in the story of the three children and their potentially holy dog, their tales get not only more fantastical but also more puzzling and addictive. However, the gradual intricacy of the story that is not Gidwitz’s big accomplishment. Rather it is the complex themes (xenophobia, zealotry, censorship etc.) he is able to bring up while still maintaining a light tone, thus giving readers a chance to come to conclusions themselves. (Also, there is a farting dragon.)”—Entertainment Weekly, “Best MG Books of 2016

"Puckish, learned, serendipitous . . . Sparkling medieval adventure." —Wall Street Journal

★ "Gidwitz strikes literary gold with this mirthful and compulsively readable adventure story. . . . A masterpiece of storytelling that is addictive and engrossing." —Kirkus, starred review

★ "A well-researched and rambunctiously entertaining story that has as much to say about the present as it does the past." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "Gidwitz proves himself a nimble storyteller as he weaves history, excitement, and multiple narrative threads into a taut, inspired adventure." —Booklist, starred review

★ "Scatological humor, serious matter, colloquial present-day language, the ideal of diversity and mutual understanding—this has it all." —The Horn Book, starred review

★ "I have never read a book like this. It’s weird, and unfamiliar, and religious, and irreligious, and more fun than it has any right to be. . . . Gidwitz is on fire here, making medieval history feel fresh and current." —School Library Journal, starred review

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published on September 27, 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0525426167
ISBN-13: 9780525426165
20 Book Reviews
  • chocolate168
    chocolate168Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 5:28 pm55 stars
    This book was really interesting. I really enjoyed how the story was told. Instead of the author just telling it, the people in the story tell the story. The style of the book and the doodles together create a really enjoyable book. The story itself was also really interesting, and while I personally am not that interested in medieval history, this book made it exciting. There's a lot of magic involved, and yet, even so, the book still felt more like history. This book was really, really good, and I definitely recommend it to all readers (especially those who don't really like history books).
    • mireeka
      mireekaTuesday, October 13, 2020 at 9:00 am
      This book looks sooooo cool.
      • swirlycool
        swirlycoolTuesday, June 2, 2020 at 1:20 pm55 stars
        The Inquisitor's Tale is a book about three children, and a dog. They are not ordinary. Jeanne is a peasant girl who has visions of the future, Jacob is a Jewish boy who can heal any wound, and William is a young monk with supernatural strength. The dog, Gwenforte, has come back to life. They cross paths, and soon become friends. However, when they have ordered a burning of the Hebrew books, they must find a way to save them. When their plan goes wrong, the king has decided to go to war with them. However, in the end, the children find some of the last hebrew books, and save the king's mother. The king thanks them. The book ends with them wondering about their future. This book was really good, and I rate it 5/5. I recommend it to people who are interested in reading books about storytelling.
        • swirlycool
          swirlycoolMonday, June 1, 2020 at 1:02 pm55 stars
          The Inquisitor's Tale is a book about three children, and a dog. They are not ordinary. Jeanne is a peasant girl who has visions of the future, Jacob is a Jewish boy who can heal any wound, and William is a young monk with supernatural strength. The dog, Gwenforte, has come back to life. They cross paths, and soon become friends. However, when they have ordered a burning of the Hebrew books, they must find a way to save them. When their plan goes wrong, the king has decided to go to war with them. However, in the end, the children find some of the last hebrew books, and save the king's mother. The king thanks them. The book ends with them wondering about their future. This book was really good, and I rate it 5/5. I recommend it to people who are interested in reading books about storytelling.
          • calebodhooray
            calebodhoorayThursday, January 9, 2020 at 2:35 pm44 stars
            I think this book is interesting because it has adventure in it and it proves that you can become a best friend to a stranger. The reason I only gave it four stars is because it can get a little scary sometimes. It's about these three magical children who try to stop people from burning books, and running away from the authorities because they think their magic is witchcraft.
            • ochaco_uraraka
              ochaco_urarakaThursday, July 4, 2019 at 2:21 am55 stars
              The Inquisitor's Tale is truly a work of art. At first, I didn't really want to read it. But then I caught on, and the story got more and more exciting every time you turn a page. Gidwitz weaves this story with magic, casting it's readers under a spell. With exciting characters, magnificent powers, and holy dogs, this tale will make you feel enthralled, excited and wonder all at the same time. The Inquisitor's Tale is a freaking masterpiece.
              • tlove
                tloveSaturday, December 17, 2016 at 4:43 am55 stars
                This book is different then my normal genre of book which is mystery. However, it kept me engaged with its medieval history and it's entertaining storyline. Throughout the book I felt like I was sitting around the table listening first hand to everyone's tales. I enjoyed that there was an incorporation of old biblical stories along with some humorous fictional characters.
                • cblocksurprise
                  cblocksurpriseSunday, November 6, 2016 at 11:37 am55 stars
                  I think this book is really really good and includes some fairy tails and some real stuff. It is kind of gory (I mean a LOT) And I like when William was talking to the other two children about his donkey. I would rate it 5/5 stars.
                  • ocelot
                    ocelotSaturday, November 5, 2016 at 7:33 am55 stars
                    This is a very interesting book, and I love books that include stories inside them. This actually takes place in an inn, where many different types of people tell stories of three young children, and a dog, named Gwenforte, which is a very strange name for a dog. The stories include the three children, and their dog, and talk about their adventures. These children are special: From seeing the future, to having supernatural powers, to healing any wound, these children are remarkable creatures. From adventures with dragons, to kings, to castles (in the year 1242), these kids have experienced it all. Each chapter is a different part, told by a different person. I would recommend this book to people who like fairytales, fiction, and a bit of adventure!
                    • unicorn992
                      unicorn992Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 2:11 pm
                      OK it is fine but has NO excitement or adventure