“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 through her head:
Old as dirt,
dirty as dirt.
Ugly as sin,
mean as sin.
Don’t let the old witch catch you!
Could Isabelle have been stolen by the old witch of the woods, or has she lost her memory as the result of an accident? And what about the baby the witch stole right before the villagers attacked? Did either the witch or the baby survive the fire the villagers set?”
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 written. It doesn’t fit the mould and I liked that. It’s perfect for autumn and I’m so glad my reading challenge helped me come across such a spooky kind of tale!