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3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  884 ratings  ·  162 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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Sequoyah Intermediate Nominees 2011
15th out of 15 books — 8 voters
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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....more
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
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...more
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?
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.
Cheryl in CC NV
Another great witch mystery/ modern fairy tale with lively characters and humor as well as mild horror. Ages 10 up.
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
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
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
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...more
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
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.
It was okay, but it didn't have much of a point. I felt there was little to no passion in the writing or the plot, which wasn't particularly compelling. I felt it would have done better as a novella. All in all, though, a quick and relatively entertaining read.
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
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
Jessica Groom
Books featuring a main character with a lost memory interest me because I become curious about their past. I won't spoil it but I was pleased with the ending and the plot as well.
Find the full review on my website in November,

What I see: This short middle grade book was thrilling! The author takes the reader on a tale in the past that makes a complete 180 towards the end. It’s stunning, fantastic and I didn’t see the ending coming! For its age range it’s easy to read and engaging enough to keep them turning the pages.

It’s a bit longer than short story length, but I was able to finish it in a day. It’s simple, well executed and I personal feel well wri...more
Is she really Isabelle? She can't remember anything before the moment she woke up in the woods and then the dogs chasing and biting her. She is rescued by a kind farmer and family. She goes home with the woman who claims to be her mother and tells her the story of her being stolen 6 years before - the whole town believes she was stolen by the wicked witch. Her sister, "Honey" is not real happy to have her back in the family. This story has the classic elements of a fairytale - wicked witch and a...more
This was a really quick read, and a decent little story too. It was a bit tedious, but just when you think you may have had starts to turn and gets so crazy. I liked it. Maybe not the best book ever, but fun.
A 12-year-old finds herself running through the woods, and she can't remember who she is or how she came to be there. When she is found by a family in a village, they tell her that she might be a child who was known to have been stolen by a witch 12 years ago named Isabelle. Another baby has been stolen just that same day, and Isabelle sets out to figure out who she is and where the other baby has gone, as the villagers around her grow suspicious of who she might really be-- the witch in disguis...more
Eva Mitnick
This is a fast yet hardhitting read. It's hard to review without giving away a couple twists at the end, so I'll just say that this story of a 12-year-old girl with amnesia trying to find out where she fits into the tiny village she finds herself in is mesmerizing. Is she really the girl who was stolen away by the local witch 6 years ago? If so, what happened to her baby sister who was just stolen recently? And why is her older sister so horrible to her? There are very few characters in this tau...more
I actually read this a long time ago but couldn't quite remember everything. It was nice to re-read it and match it to old memories
Feb 27, 2009 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes scary stories or mysteries!
Shelves: horror
Can you imagine what it would be like to find yourself running through the woods with no idea who you are or what you are running from? That's what happens to Isabelle in this spooky story which involves witches, magic and stolen children. As Isabelle tries to regain her memory, the mystery of what actually happened to her gets more and more confusing. The story has a twist ending, which took me by surprise! If you have read and liked other Vivian Vande Velde books, you won't be disappointed by...more
A 12 year old girl is found running in the forest who has no memory of herself prior to being found. Is it possible she is the child of villagers whose 6 year old daughter was believed to have been stolen by a witch 6 years ago? I thought this book was just ok. I felt it was more a fairytale than a horror story and was longer at 158 pages than it needed to be. Without giving the ending away I was, however, satisfied with it. I have booktalked "Heir Apparent" by the same author many times but I w...more
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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
More about Vivian Vande Velde...
Heir Apparent (Rasmussem Corporation, #2) Dragon's Bait Companions of the Night The Rumpelstiltskin Problem Cloaked in Red

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