Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

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While the children’s uncanny survival skills take occasionally graphic turns, as in a brutal fight between rooftopper tribes, the beauty of sky, music, and the belief in “extraordinary things” triumph in this whimsical and magical tale.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

“The beauty of sky, music, and the belief in ‘extraordinary things’ triumph in this whimsical and magical tale” (Publishers Weekly) about a girl in search of her past who discovers a secret rooftop world in Paris.

Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck that left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive—but “almost impossible” means “still possible.” And you should never ignore a possible.

So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian, threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, they takes matters into their own hands and flee to Paris to look for Sophie’s mother, starting with the only clue they have—the address of the cello maker.

Evading the French authorities, she meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers—urchins who live in the hidden spaces above the city. Together they scour the city in a search for Sophie’s mother—but can they find her before Sophie is caught and sent back to London? Or, more importantly, before she loses hope?

Phillip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials series, calls Rooftoppers “the work of a writer with an utterly distinctive voice and a wild imagination.”
 

About Katherine Rundell

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Katherine Rundell grew up in Africa and Europe and was elected a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. She begins each day with a cartwheel and believes that reading is almost exactly the same as cartwheeling: It turns the world upside down and leaves you breathless. Rooftoppers was inspired by summers spent working in Paris, where at night, she trespassed on rooftops.
 
Published September 24, 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 286 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books.
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Critic reviews for Rooftoppers
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus on Sep 10 2013

Brava! This witty, inventively poetic, fairy-tale–like adventure shimmers with love, magic and music.

Read Full Review of Rooftoppers | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Emily Eakin on Dec 20 2013

The effect is invigorating, like a pinch of cayenne in a cup of cocoa. The proceedings take a furtive, nocturnal turn, and Rundell’s conjuring skills are at full power.

Read Full Review of Rooftoppers | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Simon Mason on May 17 2013

The roof-top world is grittily real, the stuff of broken toes and roasted rat and howling gales.

Read Full Review of Rooftoppers | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jul 29 2013

While the children’s uncanny survival skills take occasionally graphic turns, as in a brutal fight between rooftopper tribes, the beauty of sky, music, and the belief in “extraordinary things” triumph in this whimsical and magical tale.

Read Full Review of Rooftoppers | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

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Jessica Ammann Lynch Mackner

Jessica Ammann Lynch Mackner 25 Apr 2014

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