Day: September 14, 2016

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

The Inquisitors Tale by Adam Gidwitz

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz (InfoSoup)

Released September 27, 2016.

The author of the A Tale Dark and Grimm series returns with a medieval tale set in the year 1242. It is a tale told by an inn full of strangers, who each know a piece of the miraculous stories of these children. There is William, the huge boy who is an oblate in the monastery but doesn’t mind using his fists. There is Jacob, a Jewish boy who had to flee his village when it was set on fire by some Christian boys. There is Jeanne, a peasant girl who has fits and sees visions that come true. Finally, there is Gwenforte, Jeanne’s greyhound who died and then returned from the dead. These children and the dog traverse France looking for safety and along the way they change hearts, create miracles, heal the sick (even a farting dragon) and build faith.

Immediately upon opening the book, I tumbled headlong in love with it. After all, it has the format of Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales, though it is far less bawdy! I also enjoyed that all of the stories happen right in the inn rather than on a pilgrimage. Gidwitz notes with a wryness that some of the narration includes more details than any observer would have, but my goodness it makes for a better telling of the tale. The medieval setting is beautifully captured through the rich prose.

This is a book that tackles big issues with gusto. It is a book steeped in faith, one where children perform miracles and a dog returns from the dead. But this is a book that looks beyond Christianity as well to the Jewish faith and thus becomes more inclusive in the way it speaks about faith. Religion itself is at the heart of one of the largest moments in the book, protecting Jewish Talmuds from being burned. It’s a powerful moment, a statement about the importance of the written word, and a purely medieval view of the value of illuminated books.

Brilliant, medieval and funny at just the right moments, this book is a lush look at medieval times for young readers. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from ARC received from Dutton.

National Book Award Long List

The long list for the National Book Award has been announced. The National Book Foundation will announce the five finalists from the list on October 13 and the winner will be presented on November 16.

Here are the nominees for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature:

Booked Burn Baby Burn

Booked by Kwame Alexander

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

Ghost March: Book Three (March, #3)

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell

Pax Raymie Nightingale

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story The Sun Is Also a Star

Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

When the Moon Was Ours When the Sea Turned to Silver

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin