Charles vows to care for Sophie, the baby he discovers floating on a cello case in the English Channel, through thick or thin, rough or smooth, at sea or in attic, street level or on rooftop. With lightning coloured hair, an unconventional guardian, haphazard routines and desperate memories of a mother before her rescue, Sophie is compelled to seek truths, despite obstacles with which few could cope.

Rooftoppers is a thrill-seeking, heart racing, city scape of a book that begs to be read and enjoyed by children who delight in wild, widely canvased adventures. Katherine Rundell is a writing tour-de-force!

Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award, Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal

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Katherine Rundell


Rooftoppers is a heart-in-your mouth, steeple in your shin, bun in your pocket adventure. Will Sophie discover her identity? Can she and Charles escape the cold hand of authority? It seems that when Charles discovers the baby floating on a cello case, shipwrecked in the Channel, something changes. Not only is he no longer alone, but the charge he feels in ensuring her survival is iron strong. Then again, who is Sophie? For starters, she’s convinced that her mother survived the wreck. Yet where is she? What’s more, what is the pull that Sophie feels toward Paris? Certainly the maker of the cello case is registered there. What’s more, he’s the only port in the storm that crashes down on her and Charles when the authorities call. Thereafter, Sophie rushes for clues and safety that leads her to the rooftops of Paris.
It seems that, as with The ExplorerKatherine Rundell‘s research took her to her setting. However, this was more, for she extended her cartwheeling skills to become an adept ‘rooftopper’ like her heroine and the gang with whom she takes refuge. Somehow, that knowledge permeates the storytelling so that we sense the cold night air, and can breathe in the city below. Then again, we’re committed to discovering Sophie’s origins and ensuring the right outcome for her, and Charles.


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