Review/ Rooftoppers

Review/ RooftoppersRooftoppers by Katherine Rundell, Terry Fan
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on September 24, 2013
Pages: 279

Embrace possibility in this luminous novel 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, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has— 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.”

I chose a book entitled, “Rooftoppers” off the shelves at Chapters.  It was next to another book I was considering and decided to bring this one home instead.  I’m glad I did.  This novel puts a unique twist on a somewhat common story-line.  A young girl, named Sophie, goes looking for her mother. However, she does so from above, and with help from above.  This is a wonderful adventure for boys and girls ages 10 and up.  Friendships are not limited to school yards and playgrounds.  In fact, the sky is the limit.

Orphaned during a shipwreck, Sophie floated into the possession of an elderly gentleman named Charles.  Charles is a quirky bookworm who dotes on Sophie and teaches her the ways of the world in a most unique manner.  When those who make decisions decide that Charles is not a proper guardian to care for Sophie, the two run away to Paris, in order for Sophie to avoid being placed in an orphanage.

Sophie always believed that her mother was alive.  Many told her that this was impossible.  However,…almost impossible means still possible…This belief motivates Sophie to find her mother.  From the rooftops in Paris, Sophie befriends a boy named Matteo.  Together, they walk tightropes and leap from buildings to find the cello music Sophie is positive comes from her mother.

Split knees, calloused hands and feet, and scraped chin, Sophie does not allow for anything to stand in her way.  From the heights of Paris buildings, she becomes a skywalker.  With the strongest belief in her heart and knowing that Paris is where she belongs, Sophie learns the ways of the skywalkers.  Without judgement, she accepts them for who they are, as they offer to accompany Sophie on her dangerous journey.

An exciting book, I could not put it down at night and fall asleep.  I wanted to read on and discover the secrets of Paris from above.

I may be wrong, but it is possible that you may enjoy reading this imaginative story through a whole new perspective.  As Sophie would say, “You should never ignore a possible.