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3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,043 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
The same day that the villagers of Thornstowe finally hunt down a witch with a reputation for stealing children, a 12-year-old appears in the woods with no memory of her past. Is there a connection between Isabelle, the girl who doesn t know who she is, and the girl the witch stole six years earlier? One of the few things Isabelle remembers is a chant that keeps running th ...more
Hardcover, 158 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Two Lions (first published September 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,161)
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Mar 02, 2009 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books, teen
On the same day a witch is chased to her home and it is set on fire, a girl walks out of the forest. Isabelle seems to be a girl who was stolen from the local village six years ago. But Isabella can't remember anything at all. Her family takes her in and as Isabella learns more about them, her own past is slowly revealed to her. Is she Isabella? Or is she someone else? And what role does the evil witch play in all of this?

For such a brief book, this novel has intrigue, mystery and twists galore.
Jun 20, 2009 Jackie rated it really liked it
There are so many twists and turns in Stolen by Vivian Vande Velde that you are simply amazed by the end of the book. Mady and Frayne and their oldest daughter Honey believe the old witch outside their village of Thornstowe has stolen two of their daughters. Isabelle disappeared nearly six years ago and the newborn unnamed infant of two days is gone. The towsnpeople in anger burn the old witch's house down...and suddenly, Isabelle 'reappears' to be with her long lost family. Since the baby is no ...more
Sep 11, 2011 Lia rated it it was ok
Shelves: retellings
Great concept, poor execution. However, it was going okay until a very, very lame moment near the end that just burst the entire plot like a popped balloon. Oh, the book isn't creepy. Just the cover is creepy.


Okay, I'm pretty much going to give away everything here, so if you don't want to know, don't read. The book starts with angry townspeople ready to burn down a witch's cottage, with the witch still inside. She has stolen another child from the villagers. Next we encounter a twelve
Jul 21, 2009 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, memory
A witch is blamed for missing children. The same day her cottage is burned, a girl with no memories is found in the forest. Is she Isabelle, a child who disappeared years ago?
Jun 21, 2015 Cinthia rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this read, this story caught my attention from the beginning, Isabelle the daughter was my favorite character, I really loved the ending on this story, everyone got what they deserved, and everything was as it should. The old witch had coming what she deserved. Ravyn was my second most favorite, she reminded me of my nieces and she seems to have a good life with Avis as her grandmother... I recommend this book, the end will open up so many questions.
cEe beE
I love VVV. Her stories are short, and her world building isn't detailed, but her characters are vibrant and her plots are always intriguing and unexpected. This is another variation on the fairytale and nothing is as it seems. 4.5 stars!
Catherine McGinnes
Jun 29, 2016 Catherine McGinnes rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 18, 2013 Heidi rated it really liked it
If you're looking for a quick read that leaves you amazed, read stolen! taking me only a few hours, Stolen stole my heart and mind. {you see what i did there :)}The witch has finally been killed. the witch is known to go around taking young children. But when Isabella tumbles into town not knowing who or where she is, the world goes crazy. Isabella is suspected to be the missing girls who has been missing for 6 years.Her family comes to claim her and Honey, her older sister, seems to hate her. W ...more
The writing in this isn't super sophisticated or anything, but I really enjoyed the way Vande Velde used the wicked witch trope and created a compelling mystery in which things aren't always how they appear. The story is fast paced and easy to read, and even though it isn't, it sort of feels like a fairy tale retelling.
Julie M
Mar 27, 2015 Julie M rated it liked it
Grade/interest level: Elementary/MS
Reading level: 860
Genre: Fiction
Main Characters: Isabelle, Witch, Mady, Frayne, Honey, Avis
Setting: Thornestown
POV: 3rd person

One the same day that some villagers burned down a witches house, a 12 year old girl appeared in the woods. She doesn't remember anything, not family, friends, school, just nothing. She meets villagers and they think she is Isabelle. Her so called family thinks there be a connection between the girl who was stolen 6 years earlier and he
Jan 26, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
A well-written mystery with a continuous twisting and turning plot that kept me glued to the page! It is by no means a complicated read, but flows beautifully. It does not bore or drag on; a danger all mystery authors face while writing. While reading, your mind will make leaps and bounds trying to see where this amnesiac orphan girl came from and, speaking from my own experience, you STILL wont figure it out until the story takes a turn. For Vivian Vande Velde has written a story that tells you ...more
Dec 18, 2010 Sensitivemuse rated it really liked it
I thought this book was good! I was expecting something different the book to be with more paranormal qualities. The cover was a bit deceiving in that aspect. However! I think the book is still worth the read!

The plot has all the makings of a great fairy tale and there is a good amount of mystery and intrigue to keep you guessing. There is a neat little twist in the end of the book which I wasn’t expecting and I enjoyed the ending.

The characters are all right and Honey happens to be a downright
Dec 18, 2013 Katie rated it liked it
I'm so used to reading adult literature that it was a bit jarring for me to step backwards into a middle-school level book. With that being said, I'm going to do my best to review this book based on its own merits, and not based on my unfamiliarity with books at that reading level.

The basic story follows a young girl who suddenly appears at the edge of the woods neighboring her village. She has no memory of her past or her identity, but everyone in town believes her to be Isabelle, the young gir
Aug 05, 2010 Sara-Anne rated it liked it
I'll be honest, I love Vivian Vande Velde. I love every book she's written. But this book was definitely on the mediocre side, and I can't help but be disappointed. First, the book was missing something you find in almost every story by Vande Velde: a love aspect. This element was sorely missed. Vande Velde has the wonderful ability to weave romance into a story which often has no business being a love story, and you can't help being caught off guard and falling half in love yourself.
Jennifer Wardrip
Jan 12, 2010 Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

A girl runs through the forest. As she runs, she realizes she has no memories prior to running. She remembers running, although not why she is running or from whom or where she is trying to go. Nor does she know her name.

As she starts to question her identity, dogs come after her. She dashes up a tree and stays there until she's rescued by their owners, who take her in and care for her. Her lost memories become fuel for gossip as they attempt to he
Jun 24, 2010 Lawral marked it as read-but-unowned
Shelves: ya
Let me start off by saying that this book is never as spooky as the cover would suggest. There may be an old witch, and there is certainly rampant speculation about said witch and what she might do out there all alone in the forest, but this book isn't about her. It's about Isabelle. Also, there is someone a lot more scary than a witch, but that person is scary in a much different way than what the cover advertises. This person inspires a slow build of scary rather than a jump out and grab you s ...more
Apr 16, 2014 Hilary rated it liked it
Isabelle comes to consciousness running through the woods with a pack of dogs chasing her. She can’t remember who she is or where she comes from. One family comes forward and claims that she is their daughter who was stolen six years ago by the evil witch who lives in the forest. Their other daughter, an infant, was stolen the day before as well. After this the villagers storm her cottage and burn it down, possibly with the witch and their baby inside of it. Does Isabelle belong to this family? ...more
Sep 30, 2010 Felicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
In the reviews someone complained that there was no love story involved, but that is exactly why Im reading it. A spooky fast paced no love triangle book is exactly what I am in the mood for.

I really enjoyed this book. It is pretty short and an easy read which is what I was in the mood for, probably why I enjoyed this book so much. I liked that the ending wasn't so predictable, I only guessed half of the ending. The cover of the book is intriguing and made me excited to read the book but in all
Sheridan Swiderski
Oct 03, 2014 Sheridan Swiderski rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A twelve year-old girl named Isabelle was running in the forest the same day the old witch’s house was burned down. She is attacked by dogs, hurt and the owners of the dogs take her in and care for her. When she wakes up she has no memory of who she is. Then a family takes her in and says that Isabelle is their stolen daughter. Except her nasty sister ,Honey, doesn’t think that she is Isabelle and tries to kill Isabelle. This book is full of twists and turns and you are sure to be surprise
Collin Kiesow
Oct 16, 2015 Collin Kiesow rated it really liked it
For how short this book was, I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed reading it.

It had surprising twists and turns, and sometimes I had trouble putting it down. It captured my attention at the end of each chapter, and for a book of its size, I was very impressed. It was a very quick and easy read, and a worth while one at that. The writing was smart and enjoyable. I only wish there was more to it, but Vivian Vande Velde sure did know how to take advantage of the amount of pages she wrote.
Aug 23, 2015 Aishuu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid story with some nice inversions of folk tale tropes. It's short but very well done. I would recommend it to people who are Robin McKinley fans - it uses a mature vocabulary that can attract adult readers, but is short enough for younger teen readers. Some of the inversions were obvious to me, but Vande Velde writes with enough tension to keep it suspenseful.
Mar 18, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing
A twelve-year old girl, the very same day the witch's house is burned to the ground that once held a girl who would be just about twelve years old, wanders around a forest with no idea who she is. When she's attacked by dogs and hurt, the dog owners take her in an nurse her back to health. She is soon claimed by a family who say she is their stolen daughter, Isabelle. They also had a newborn baby stolen recently by the very same witch that Isabelle was stolen by. She is nowhere to be found. Isab ...more
Feb 01, 2014 Reader101 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the "first" books I've ever read, and I did so years ago when I was about 10 or 11. I adored everything about this book, and though I realize it's for a tween-child audience, it's very well written, and very creative. This book made me realize how much I love reading, and I haven't stopped yet.
Jun 25, 2009 Belann rated it liked it
This book was a quick fun read. The plot line involves a girl who is found wandering in the woods after the witch's house is burned down. She is actually found by dogs who drive her to climb a tree for safety. The owner of the dogs, Brawley, calls the dogs off and takes the girl to his home. He and his wife Avis believe her to be Isabelle, a girl stolen by the witch 6 years earlier. The girl is now twelve, but she can remember nothing of her past. Mady, the mother of Isabelle comes to rescue her ...more
Rachel Boling
Mar 08, 2015 Rachel Boling rated it really liked it
I had a hard time getting into this one because I thought I had guessed the ending. The twist I was expecting was right, but I didn't expect the others. Great children's book, just a little dark, but not too much for most kids. I really liked the ending.
Aug 15, 2012 Tina rated it it was ok
The storyline of this book is really interesting. The main characters finds herself running through the woods--but she can't remember why. Or who she is. Or anything about her life. It's just the right amount of spooky and mysterious (at least for the target audience of 10-12 year olds). I think it was very poorly written-I'd expect this type of writing from my middle school students. HOWEVER, that probably makes it more accessible to the readers since that's the level of language they're operat ...more
This was a nice short book with a great little mystery story. I was expecting something a little creepier (especially looking at the cover), but there really wasn't much supernatural activity. The story wasn't particularly action-filled so despite it's length I wouldn't recommend it to a reluctant reader. There isn't much character development either, so I wouldn't hand to the kid that likes those types of stories. What does this book have going for it? Well, there is the length. And the mystery ...more
Jan 15, 2010 Kathy added it
Shelves: teen
Quick read and would make a good book talk for 5th-6th grade. Twelve year old Isabelle has no memory of anything before the day she finds herself running in the woods and being chased by dogs. She is taken in by a kind elderly couple and a family soon shows up claiming that she is their daughter who was stolen by a witch when she was six years old. But Isabelle has no memory of these people. Are they really her parents? Why would the witch steal her and then let her go six years later? Where is ...more
Eric Krause
Apr 04, 2016 Eric Krause rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining book. A good mystery running throughout. It had a neat twist, and though I saw some of it coming, I didn't see it all. Worth a read for anyone who enjoys YA books.
Oct 16, 2014 Keyviona rated it it was amazing
yhis is a very good book because once you found out who the girl is you will loose your mind you wonder wonder and wonder who is is who is it but you have to read to find out
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Vivian Vande Velde (born 1951, currently residing in Rochester, New York) is an American author who writes books primarily aimed at young adults.

Her novels and short story collections usually have some element of horror or fantasy, but are primarily humorous. Her book Never Trust a Dead Man (1999) received the 2000 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel. She says that she really likes to write for
More about Vivian Vande Velde...

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