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

Adam Gidwitz, illus. by Hatem Aly. Dutton, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-42616-5
In 1242 France, weary travelers at an inn trade stories about three miraculous children and their dog, Gwenforte, who has returned from the dead. The children—Jeanne, a peasant girl who has visions of the future; William, an oblate of partial African heritage with uncanny strength; and Jacob, a Jewish boy with the power to heal the sick and injured—are the subject of much rumor and debate. Are they saints, frauds, or in league with the devil? Gidwitz (the Grimm trilogy) continues to toy with narrative in a well-researched and rambunctiously entertaining story that has as much to say about the present as it does the past. Evoking the oral storytelling traditions of the time, multiple characters including a nun, troubadour, and brewer alternately describe their encounters with the children to produce the whole story. Amid mugs upon mugs of ale, the tale that comes into focus is one of religious persecution and faith, friendships that transcend difference, and a dangerously flatulent dragon—Gidwitz continues to have no problem mixing high and low. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10–up. Author’s agent: Sarah Burnes, Gernert Company. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/11/2016
Release date: 09/27/2016
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-0-7352-8736-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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