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STOLEN by Vivian Vande Velde

STOLEN

By Vivian Vande Velde

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5515-8
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Vande Velde combines her trademark spookiness with some of the motifs of fairy tales—witches, magic, stolen children—to explore themes of jealousy and villainy. A young girl of about 12, who can remember nothing of her name or her home, is rescued from the forest. She is soon taken up by a mother who calls her Isabelle and who insists that she is the daughter who disappeared years ago. The same woman’s month-old baby was taken by a witch just a day before Isabelle is found, and the connection between the events is cleverly plotted and revealed. The indeterminate, rustic setting of forests, small villages and pre-industrial technology, along with the sturdy and odd, old-fashioned names, add to the folktale quality of the narrative. Questions of identity and the nature of evil run throughout the introspective narrative as the girl struggles to understand herself and her relationship with the world—even as the selfsame narrative twists and turns its way to a satisfyingly devious conclusion. A quick read; taut and superbly suspenseful. (Fantasy. 9-11)