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3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,144 Ratings  ·  194 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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Tiffany PSquared
The old witch saw that she had gone too far. She had stolen one child too many, and the villagers had come after her.

"Isabelle" finds herself running through the woods with no recollection of why she's running or who she is. Is her rescue by a neighboring family the answer to all her questions or just the beginning of an even deeper mystery?

Vande Velde relays an evenly-paced tale of witches, kidnapped children, and things that go bump in the night. A story that may leave you wondering who the
Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen, childrens-books
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 19, 2009 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 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
Elise (TheBookishActress)
4 stars. I don't know how Vivian Vande Velde's retellings aren't more popular among children's booksellers. This book is on the level of Gail Carson Levine's stories.

I love the way Vivian Vande Velde weaves fantasy stories. She makes her retellings incredibly creative while not droning on. Stolen utilizes a twisty plot and a brilliant concept to the utmost. There's some great atmosphere and a feeling of wrongness throughout the book. The prose only helps; this story flows naturally and doesn't
Jul 21, 2009 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?
Sep 18, 2013 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
Jun 18, 2015 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.
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.
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!
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought this story started out a bit slow but I ended up really enjoying it. Isabelle, a twelve year old with no memory finds herself running through the forest being chased by dogs. After being bit by one of the dogs she is taken home by the dog owner. Avis, her husband and her granddaughter Ravyn take her in and begin to take care of her. Ravyn tells Isabelle that just this day a baby was taken by an old witch and that the villagers burned down the witch's cottage and neither the baby or the ...more
Kourtney Mellen
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it
**SPOILERS** Isabelle, a girl whom has lost her memory, is first running, confused and terrified. She's being chased by dogs. She then is taken care of by an old couple, who own the dogs from the beginning, for a while. Later on she finds her original family and her village. But her sister, Honey, just problematic and insane I guess. In the end, Isabelle realized she IS the "wicked" witch, who the village people say steals children.
Unlike Isabelle, Honey is a total brat. Honey isn't just only
Leila Olukoga
Nov 17, 2016 rated it liked it
I give this book three stars. It had me at the edge of my seat at most times, but others it was just a "Where's the action?" type of thing. I think one of the moments where they had me at the edge of my seat were when I found out that Isabelle actually had another side to her. I really like this book and hope they make a whole series about it.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A little short, wish it went on longer.
Jennifer Sandoval
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this book is scary and keeps you on edge at all times. it may be a mythical book, but it makes you wonder if this could ever happen to you or your children.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I remembered reading this in the 5th grade and it seeming super plot-twisty back then so I decided to re-read. It's cute :)
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Vivian Vande Velde brings me way back. A shorter read for adults (just saw that it was "free" with Kindl Unlimited or whatnot), but from such a creative mind that it's still enjoyable!
Mar 21, 2017 added it
This book was very interesting and at the end I liked it the most because it mixed my emotions.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Quick little predictable read, but relatively enjoyable none the less
Jun 24, 2010 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
Aug 09, 2013 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
Sep 19, 2010 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
Jul 29, 2010 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
Aug 27, 2009 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
May 27, 2010 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
Aug 14, 2012 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
Julie M
Mar 11, 2015 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
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
Jun 25, 2009 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
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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