Notes from the Edge of My Mind

Margaret McManis' blog

A few medieval titles I loved.

Jul 022017

I will mention a few here and include a review of the most intriguing title I read recently.

Crispin The Cross of Lead by Avi was a favorite because Avi is an author I love. Before he became an author Avi was a librarian, so we have books and a love of reading in common.

The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer. This non-fiction title arranged as a travel guide helped me immensely in finding out how people traveled in medieval Europe, where they stayed, what they wore and their health and hygiene.

By far the most intriguing book on the list was 'The Inquisitor's Tale' by Adam Gidwitz.

Written as a spin off of 'The Canterbury Tales' for middle grade readers it chronicled the tale of three magical children and their Holy Dog, and was a Newbery Honor Book for 2016.

The reviews were glowing and I will mention only a few here and finish up with my take on one of my favorite books on the lengthy list.

From School Library Journal:

'Gidwitz is on fire here, making medieval history feel fresh and current.

From Sara Lipton professor of medieval history at SUNY, Stony Brook:

'...a well researched and thoughtful engaging adventure, which beautifully imagines the feel and texture of thirteenth-century France. It is also a moving exploration of friendship, curiosity, and a love of learning in a world all too filled with narrow-mindedness and hate."

This riveting tale of three very different orphans with supernatural powers traveling across France to escape the clutches of the French king is filled with humor and superb attention to detail on every page. The adventures the children experience are close to miracles and they are hounded at each step by the king's spies and eventually come to their final showdown in the waves at the foot of the abbey at Mont Saint-Michel.

Don't miss this one if you are in the mood for a rollicking adventure filled with historical detail and heartfelt friendships.

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