The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
The Inquisitor’s Tale is a cleverly structured, well-written, surprising, thoughtful, intriguing book. It is also challenging and profound, so I’d recommend it to be best for older, more mature eager readers. There is plenty of excitement, danger, drama, and yes...a dragon(!)...all factors that work well to keep our attention. The main characters are ‘tweens’ and are fantastic role models so they will absolutely appeal to readers’ hearts and minds. Yet it’s the quieter moments and the exquisite details (the illustrated embellishments in the margins are marvelous!) that really stood out for me and made this such a wonderful book.

All this being said, I recommend you DON’T just get this book for your kids or give it to someone as a gift. If that’s all you do, you’ll miss out on the magic! The best way to take in The Inquisitor’s Tale is to read it together, out loud, and talk about all the amazing, tragic, scary, beautiful things that happen within. Yes, it can be labeled a ‘children’s book’, but it really isn’t one at all. This story is for everyone. And it’s a good tale to share aloud because some of the content is quite intense. Bad things happen to bad people, terrible things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people, and wonderful things happen to great people. Truly, this is an epic journey and one you will definitely not want to miss out on!

Lastly, you must know that the story is deeply religious...however it isn't overly preachy. It is equal parts a study in Judaism, Catholicism, and general Christianity...but presented in such a way that it simply challenges us to contemplate how different ways of thinking can come together to make miracles happen.

Oh and there’s a magnificent dog in the story who is reincarnated as a saint and if that isn’t reason enough to dive into this novel--I don’t know what is!

Happy Reading!