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
16 Book Reviews
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  • snicker9
    snicker9Friday, October 7, 2016 at 1:36 pmFeatured
    This story is about three children and one dog who have the adventure of a lifetime. Jenna is just a regular pheasant girl-until she starts having visions of the future. After she protects her Gwen, the dog and also a saint, who happened to come back to life after years of death, she is put on the wanted list and goes on the run. Jacob is a Jewish boy who can heal any wound. After some teen thugs set fire onto the Jewish part of town, he goes to try and finding his parents. William is a dark and very large young monk, who has supernatural strength. He sets off to deliver a set of books to another monastery after he is kicked out of his own. When the children meet they join forces, and set off on an incredible adventure, full of danger, nobility, and conflict. This was a very interesting medieval tale. There were so many little details about life during that time period, you could tell the author researched a lot. I also liked that there were relatable problems in the book, even though they were in a different century. Problems dealing with race, prejudice, and religion were throughout the book. I have never read a book like this before. Each chapter was told by a different narrator, and it was told in the sense that the storytellers were at a pub, just sitting around, telling their part. Sometimes it was confusing, if you didn’t pay attention the the title you didn’t know who was speaking. For some people I am sure that it would be pure frustration and they would give up almost immediately. Somehow for me though, it worked. I liked knowing the story from different points of view, and for most of the book they are telling it after it has already happened. I also thought the illustrations were cool. The way the book was formatted was that there were larger margins, and all the drawings were stretched along side the words. Sometimes the pictures made sense, or like the illustrator warns us at the beginning they are random, and are like a doodle book. I recommend this book to older elementary students and middle school students, especially those who enjoy reading about medieval culture. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
    • habiibacute4
      habiibacute4Monday, October 3, 2016 at 9:05 am
      OMG, I just started reading this and it already looks so good!!😀😄
      • kittyuncicornFriday, September 30, 2016 at 11:31 am
        I like this book <3
        • nessa Friday, September 30, 2016 at 8:16 am
          My kids enjoy this book and my husband too!
          • JessicaFriday, September 30, 2016 at 8:16 am
            I already have this book and it's great
            • ellsworth2424
              ellsworth2424Friday, September 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm33 stars
              This story takes place in the Middle Ages and is told in a way that reminds me of an old fairytale. It revolves around three children -- Jeanne, William and Jacob -- from very different backgrounds. Together with a white greyhound named Gwenforte, they face many adventures and obstacles, meeting interesting characters along the way. I liked the details, the way the kids worked together. Whenever I sense harm to an animal coming in a book, I usually skip it. But, the author did a really good job of telling you upfront that the animal(s) would be OK, which I really liked. There's a passage in the book: "Sometimes, it turns out, the most important decisions in life are made by your dog." I think it's my favorite passage to ever read in a book. I think other readers will enjoy this book, too.