• Whitney

The Best Thing About KidLit

I just finished reading The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz this morning, and it's the book that pushed me over the edge.

In a good way!

I've been wanting to write about reading for a while now, but--as with most things we don't do--just didn't do it. But I've read so much great middle grade fiction in the last two weeks, and the wonderful Inquisitor's Tale was the last straw.

I HAD to write about it.

I'm not sure what my posts will look like on this blog, what form or tone they will take, so this first impulsive post may be a bit... unfocused. But I hope, at the very least, it inspires someone to pick up The Inquisitor's Tale and inhale it as I did.

Speaking of inhaling...

This is a beautiful book. From the cover and the "illuminations" on almost every page to the ideas and the language used to present those ideas, this book left me breathless.

The main characters are breathless themselves throughout much of the story. Three miraculous children and their resurrected dog flee marauding knights, angry kings and queens, and fiendish... well... fiends.

And while they fight to survive the dangers of the wide world, a group of peripheral adults gathers at an inn to drink and tell tales. About the children.

I think what I loved most...

...is that this is a book about stories. It's about those who live them and those who tell them. Which means it's also about power--whose story do we beleive and why? Which stories get to survive?

And that a children's book asks these questions... that's what I love most about the genre. It's deceptive and brilliant. You think you're getting a nice, escapist fantasy tale? Think again! Not only do children's books ask these questions, but they ask them with intense sincerity. None of the bitterness or irony of adult hood seeps through.

I just realized...

...this post is pretty vague. I've not given you more than a shadow of a glimpse of this beautiful book. I've sort of just splashed my half-formed thoughts onto the page (keyboard?). But maybe it's better that way. A little mystery never hurt anything. So, if you like fantasy, kidlit, dogs, and stories about stories, check out The Inquisitor's Tale. I don't think you'll regret it!

After you read, let me know what you think about it in the comments! Agree or disagree, I want to start a conversation!
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