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Stolen Hardcover – October 1, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 Bradburn
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions; First Edition edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761455159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761455158
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The story opens with a witch huddled in her home with a baby as an angry mob of villagers break down her door and set fire to her house. Why? Because she is a witch who has stolen one too many of the villagers' children. As the opening chapter ends, the witch casts two spells of unknown effect. The next chapter opens with a young girl running frantically through the woods near the witch's home with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She is taken in by a kind family, but the mystery of her identity and the witch's two spells haunt this story as it twists and turns through the past and present, and truth, lies, and misunderstandings.

Don't be deceived by the shortness of this book. Vivian Vande Velde is a master at writing short books while weaving characters and plots with unexpected depth. Stolen is no exception, and it keeps the reader guessing until the very end while tugging at both heartstrings and concepts of morality. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
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 scary. I say this because I certainly wouldn't have picked this book up when I was in late elementary/early middle school (I was kind of a wimp), but I probably would have really loved the story inside.

The girl who might be Isabelle gets thrown into a lot of drama, right from the get-go. She's bitten by a hunting dog that is looking for a witch. When she begins to recover from that, she has to tell the family that took her in that she remembers nothing about her own life. Just when she starts to come to terms with that, the folks who might be her family come to claim her. The newly stolen baby was their daughter as well. Their joy at having Isabelle back is tempered by worry about the baby. There is so much pain in this family; Isabelle wants to be their missing daughter, if only to allow them to avoid the pain of losing a daughter all over again. Then Isabelle meets Honey, possibly her older sister, and she can tell that whether Isabelle is the "real" Isabelle or not, Honey wants her family to have nothing to do with her.

Isabelle has some memory; she knows how to spin wool and she knows she was never a princess, for example. She can still navigate the world she's found herself in, even if she has no idea what her place is in it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is about a girl who has lost her memory and the story of an old witch. The ending was completely unexpected in the good kind of way. The first signs of what is really happening only appear two pages before it is revealed. Wonderful book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this thinking it might be OK for my 5th graders to read. For me, it's a strange novel. Lots of twists and turns that try to build excitement but just don't deliver. Ending felt unfinished.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dragon's Bait is one of my favorite books, so I decided to try this. It was a good read but very short. I felt a little disappointed when it was done, like "that's it?" But it was a good story and I won't discourage anyone from reading it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was a delightful read. Even though I knew what was coming, it did not lessen my enjoyment. I was surprised by one of the characters after all which only deepened my liking of this story. This was a quick read and yet Vande Velde managed to create characters that you care about and some that you hate.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved it but at the end I just cried at the thought someone could kill two sisters I would really have liked a second book to explain what happens to the old witch and the white and black goat other wise known as Isabelle
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book truly moved me and I really could not put it down. It is extremely dramatic, interesting, and amazing! Everything falls into place. Finished it in two days! Truly worthwhile reading. It's about a girl running through the woods with no memory of who she is or why she is running. Many people think the old witch of the wood took her and put her under a spell. Had she? Is it true? Follow her on her adventure to find out who she really is, and find out more about the old witch of the wood.
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