Starred Review. Grade 5–8—A 12-year-old girl is running through the woods with no memory of who she is or why she is running. Her identity is up for speculation throughout the book: Is she a princess? An animal turned into a human? The missing daughter of a couple in the village? All of these possibilities seem to revolve around an old witch who escaped the village mob with a baby the same day the girl appeared in the woods. The woman and her husband are convinced that the girl is their missing Isabelle, taken from the village by the witch six years earlier, but their older daughter, Honey, is skeptical and even hostile in her reaction. As the tale unfolds, some even suspect that the youngster is actually a creation of the old hag who was sent for evil purposes, and Isabelle wonders whether she really wants to know the truth. This is a solid fantasy and mystery that builds in intrigue and suspense as more layers are added to the story. The protagonist's true identity comes as a fantastic surprise and will have readers looking back for clues even as they shudder at the chain of events that brought about her appearance in the woods that fateful day. Like the witch, Vande Velde weaves a spell around her readers with this well-written tale.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
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The day the old witch’s cottage is burned by villagers, a child who doesn’t know her own identity appears at Avis and Browley’s door, and the couple takes her in. Convinced that she is Isabelle, a little girl that the witch had stolen six years before, Avis and Browley send word to Isabelle’s parents that their child is alive. Isabelle’s mother, Mady, is certain that the mysterious girl is her long-lost daughter. Father Frayne is hopeful, too, but bitter older sister Honey is skeptical. Surely this 12-year-old whom others claim to be Isabelle is an imposter! Twists and turns abound as Isabelle’s true identity is revealed and her life increasingly endangered. Vande Velde, noted for her well-crafted riffs on fairy tales, has written her darkest yet, a story of greed, jealousy, and insidious evil that will haunt the reader for some time to come. Grades 6-10. --Frances BradburnSee all Editorial Reviews
I am a fan of Vivian Vande Velde and she really does not disappoint me with her books.Published 6 months ago by I M
Wen i started this book i though is was just gonna be the regular stupid story well its not its amazingPublished 16 months ago by Bernadine Beams
Another great and unique fantasy by Vivian Vande Velde! This one lost a star because it was just a little too short for my taste.Published 16 months ago by Shannon Connerton
I liked this quick read. Twists and turns kept the story interesting, but everything came together at the satisfying end.Published 20 months ago by tntvb
It was so good because things happen so quickly and there is so many twists. The old witch shall reign.Published 21 months ago by Kaleb Stocker
Very nice.A very nice book im glad I have read. I hope to read more from this auther. Loved it.Published 23 months ago by Tammy Petrey
As my title says the book is sort of predictable but still has a few surprises. The story is well told and i enjoyed it.Published 24 months ago by E.M.
Amazing outstanding never read anything like this best book of all books In the history of books make these in every language everyone NEEDS to read this book I already read this... Read morePublished on September 3, 2013 by ken