Jan 12, 2015

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, and shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal.

Already being proclaimed a classic in children's literature and compared to the likes of Roald Dahl and Eva Ibbotson, Katherine Rundell's Rooftoppers merges fantasy and historical fiction with sophisticated lyrical prose and vivid imagery that will delight middle grade readers, tweens, teens, and parents and teachers alike.
Join plucky heroine Sophie, her eccentric guardian Charles, and her intrepid orphan allies on the rooftops of Victorian Paris, as they encounter suspense and adventure that will keep kids of all ages on the edge of their seats right to the heartwarming end.
My mother is still alive, and she is going to come for me one day.
Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. Found floating in a cello case and swaddled in a Beethoven score, she is the only recorded female survivor of a shipwreck on the English Channel. But Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help...
Charles, a fellow survivor and an eccentric scholar, finds Sophie and brings her home to his London bachelor flat. Raised in a quirky home filled with music, words and love (though questionable diet), Sophie grows into a free-spirited tomboy with a taste for Shakespeare and the unshakeable belief that anything is possible. And you should never ignore a possible.
So when the child welfare agency in its bureaucratic wisdom threatens to send Sophie to an orphanage, the optimistic girl and her odd guardian flee to Paris on a quest to find her mother, starting with the only clue she has - the address of the cello maker.
Secured in an attic to evade the French authorities, Sophie escapes through the skylight and meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers - homeless urchins who tightrope walk above the busy streets below, dining on pigeons and snails alongside the gargoyles and bell tower of Notre Dame. Together they set out on an unimaginable adventure, scouring the city for Sophie's mother before she is caught and sent back to London - and most importantly, before she loses hope.


Sophie was found drifting on the English Channel. She miraculously survived a shipwreck and as nobody was there to claim her they assume she is an orphan. The man who found her, Charles, decides to raise her. He's an eccentric and very wise scholar, who educates Sophie. There are plenty of books, music and words. Sophie isn't very ladylike which increasingly concerns the welfare agency. They don't think Charles is a suitable guardian and they want to take her away from him. There's only one thing that can prevent Sophie from being sent to an orphanage and that is finding her mother. Nobody believes she's survived the shipwreck, but Sophie is very sure. She only has one clue, the address of a cello maker in Paris. That's where she and Charles start their search. As the local authorities are on her case within a very short time Sophie has to find other means to continue her quest. Fortunately she knows how to climb and soon she finds out she isn't the only one. She meets Matteo and slowly wins his trust. He introduces her to the rest of his gang of rooftoppers and together they are trying to locate Sophie's mother. 
 Rooftoppers is such a beautiful story about a wonderfully kind man who raises a brave and fierce daughter. Sophie isn't fearless, but she knows how to face the things she's afraid of and do them after all. It's fabulous to see. Her life in England is calm and filled with learning from books. Her life in Paris is eventful and filled with learning from experience. Together they made the story wonderfully balanced. Rooftoppers story is so pure and the kindness of all the main characters is overwhelming. I loved that Charles and Matteo did something kind and altruistic for Sophie. In the end they also gained a lot. They risk their lives for her and they do it willingly, because Sophie's love and joy are amazing and catchy. She's like a radiant star who makes everything bright and hopeful. They all work together and manage to move forward step by step. I liked reading about the different clues they find in Paris and the ending was so lovely. I enjoyed reading this story very much!

1 comment:

  1. I'm really looking forward to this.


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