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Rooftoppers

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,868 Ratings  ·  827 Reviews
Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck which 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 that means still possible. You should never ignore a ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published March 7th 2013 by Faber and Faber (first published 2013)
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Popular Answered Questions

:Donna Marie Hi, Elizabeth :) I only just now saw your question here. I'm not a teacher so can't answer, with any expertise, on how it would be approached from…moreHi, Elizabeth :) I only just now saw your question here. I'm not a teacher so can't answer, with any expertise, on how it would be approached from that aspect.

This is classified as a "Young Reader/Middle Grade" read as far as content and the age of the protagonist. This is not the typical reading material for teenagers unless they're the type that realize most books are for ALL readers :D

I wouldn't consider it fantasy, but "fantastical." The course of events are quite far-fetched, but it's one of the most appealing things about the book, I think. I would say the underlying themes would be about the power of love, the fact that even those who might be considered to be "unfit" as a parent are suited in the ways that matter (at least in my opinion in this case), and also about determination and perseverance---trusting in one's gut feelings. It's also about following one's own path and being comfortable in one's own skin. I just love this book :)(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May
4 1/2 stars. This is pretty close to five stars and I might change my mind yet. Just a beautiful, lyrical and magical book, even though there is no literal magic or fantasy elements.

karen pretty much nailed it when she said this was "classic-feeling". This whimsical historical tale has something timeless and wonderful about it - like all the best children's classics. The characters are so well-drawn and memorable, and the writing sparkles with a certain bittersweetness.

It's about a spunky, inte
...more
karen
Apr 29, 2014 karen rated it it was amazing
just a wonderful, magical, extraordinary book. the kind of classic-feeling book you can put in the hands of a little girl and feel confident that with it, she will grow into a wonderful, magical, extraordinary creature herself. it might work on boys, too, who knows? but right now i am speaking to the fathers i know with young daughters who are looking for that book that will leave an impression on them in a literary role-model kind of way: a strong and smart and brave little girl raised by an ec ...more
Arah-Lynda
May 13, 2016 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: Arah-Leah Hay
Shelves: top, to-the-island, i-said
Take a look at that cover. It is the stuff of dreams and so is this story.

It was Charles that found Sophie.


On the morning of its first birthday, a baby was found floating in a cello case in the middle of the English Channel.

The baby was found wrapped for warmth in the musical score of a Beethoven symphony. It had drifted almost a mile from the ship, and was the last to be rescued. The man who lifted it into the rescue boat was a fellow passenger, and a scholar. It is a scholar’s job to notice th
...more
Jubilation Lee
Y’all, I have some seriously strong feelings about Charles Maxim, father-figure-to-our-heroine in Rooftoppers.

And by “seriously strong feelings,” I mean I am crushing hard on a fictional man.

Because seriously? He looks “like a particularly well-mannered panther.” He makes you think of “nighttime with a speaking voice,” or of “how moonlight might talk,” or “of ink, if ink had vocal cords.” The first real details we get about him come when he introduces himself to one-year-old Sophie, whom he ha
...more
Jo
Mar 19, 2013 Jo rated it it was amazing
I feel it would take quite a bit to make me want to scramble around on Parisian rooftops. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not scared of heights in any way, and the views… well, they’d be pretty incredible, wouldn’t they?

But the more you think about, the less romantic it is. I mean, they’re probably really dirty and well, if you fell you’d pretty much be smushed and don’t even get me started on the pigeons. I can only just deal with the pigeons when I’m walking on solid ground but if I’m balancing on a w
...more
Drew Cernava
Oh my goodness, if you haven't read this book yet then you need to pick up a copy of it ASAP! Rooftoppers was pure charming, quirky, and clever historical fiction. If that doesn't draw you in then maybe the mention of a stubborn and brave narrator who goes by the name of Sophie will, or the pages of lovely illustrations at the start of each chapter.

It's true that this is a children's book, but I think readers of all ages will be able to enjoy it. The setting is in England and France and the desc
...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell has the quality and the warmth of a children’s classic. It is a gorgeous story about a little girl in search for her mother. There aren’t many stories like this, not anymore, and as a parent, I’m extremely grateful when I discover one to share with my daughter.

By far the best part of this book is Sophie’s relationship with her foster father, Charles. Charles always encouraged Sophie’s peculiarities and never tried to fit her into a mould. His only method of upbr
...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Rooftoppers was a fun read. If my ten year old self had read this, surely I would have rated the book 4 stars. My adult self wasn't as invested (since I wasn't the target audience; my opinion doesn't count against children!), even though I appreciated the charm of the story. Matteo reminded me slightly of a childlike Han Alister, or perhaps a far more innocent version of a scamp from Oliver Twist.

Caught between the upper end of childrens' and lower end of middle grade, I'm shelving the book as
...more
Steph (bookplaits)
In three words: charming, poetic, beautiful.

"Almost impossible means still possible."

This was my first book of 2016, and it was an utterly enchanting read. Charming, witty and heart-warming, this is the story of a baby who survives a shipwreck and, found floating in a cello case, is taken in by a kind gentleman named Charles. While she loves him, the girl, Sophie, still believes that her mother is alive. Some years later, after discovering inside the cello case a clue that points to Paris, the
...more
Hannah Fullmer
Rooftoppers started out brilliantly; the first chapters were full of whimsy and a sense of randomness that I completely fell in love with. The beginning of the story, which chronicles how our heroine, Sophie, is found as a baby floating in the ocean in a cello case and adopted by the kind-hearted scholar, Charles, was a pure delight.
However, once the book became plot driven, with Sophie and Charles going on a journey to find her mother, it lost its magic for me.
Also, Rooftoppers ended extremely
...more
Arah-Leah Hay
This is what reading is all about! Dare to dream. This is all the magic, and wonder, hope and inspiration abound. I bought this book for my daughter's birthday and it is without doubt, perfection in choice. It is a story about a baby found in a cello case floating in The English Channel. A Girl, found on her first birthday. It is a story about her search for her long lost mother. A search that will take her to the rooftops of Paris. Adventure awaits. A perfect gift to pass from Mother to Daughte ...more
Jen
Nov 23, 2014 Jen rated it really liked it
Mother Daughter Book Club Review:

Mother: Great story with spoonfuls of creamy dream-like prose. Loved most young Sophie and her adventures with the rag-tag friends who dwell on rooftops and trees, especially Matteo and the almost more-than-friendship introduced by Rundell...reminiscent of Secret Garden with maybe a dash of Heathcliff in hardscrabble Matteo, the lone wolf kid all haunted, passionate, and grim. (Jump, Sophie, jump. You might die, but maybe you won't. And here, here are my scars fr
...more
Mafi
Jul 03, 2015 Mafi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pt, 2015
Existem livros que por vezes têm páginas a mais e com conteúdo que não acrescenta nada ao livro. "Rooftoppers" sofre disso mas no inverso. Na minha opinião eram necessárias mais umas 50 páginas mas no entanto não me senti desiludida com o final corrido e pouco desenvolvido, devido à simplicidade e beleza da escrita da autora, que nos prende logo nas primeiras páginas e por fim à mensagem que o livro transmite: que a esperança é realmente a última a morrer.
Ainda referente às personagens, Matteo é
...more
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
this is a book that could make you insanely jealous. why can't i whistle?

*facepalm*

and meanwhile, it is also the most wonderful thing ever. it's not all fun; rather sad, in fact, in passing. but we don't care about the sad- it passes. it happens; it goes. on the other hand, wonderful things you'll have to hunt for and keep close.

even if it floats down to you in a cello case. or you happen to open your eyes to it.

anyways, my personal playlist(of three songs :/) for Rooftoppers:

the beginning of
...more
jo mo
Mar 10, 2014 jo mo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jo by: karen
Shelves: recommended
rooftoppers_v2

magical things can happen on rooftops – or at least should.

when i was still at an age and height where i couldn't reach the cupboard's highest and thus of course most mysterious shelf --even when stretching and standing on tiptoes (there may have been frustrated grunting involved), my family and i would fly over to my grandparents in india during our summer holidays.

we kids were bored out of our minds.

without further ado we'd decide that it was an amazingly ingenious idea to jump from rooftop t
...more
Il Cibo della Mente - Pamela
Ieri sono stata sveglia fino alle due di notte per finire questa meraviglia Una favola assolutamente perfetta in questo periodo, una storia che parla di amore, amicizia, coraggio, speranza e legami indissolubili... Un romanzo che venera le mamme sopra ogni cosa. Perché
Le mamme sono una cosa di cui hai bisogno, come l'aria, pensò. E come l'acqua. Le mamme sono un posto dove far riposare il cuore, un rifugio dove fermarsi a prendere fiato


A breve la recensione sul blog :)
...more
Rachel
Reviewed for the Emmet O'Neal Library Children's Department. Click here to access the children's portion of the review.

Grown-up portion of review:

This is one of those kids' books that gets more stars for kids than it did for me. But this is the first time I've given it two extras on the library site.

I think kids might appreciate the use of language, whereas I found some of it a bit kitschy. There were descriptions and even minor plot elements that chose quirky aesthetic sweetness over actual use
...more
Vera Neves (Sinfonia dos Livros)
"Nunca ignorar uma possibilidade". É um bom conselho, não é? Porque a vida é recheada de possibilidades e muitas vezes perdemos oportunidades incríveis só porque é difícil ou muito complicado transformar uma possibilidade em facto real.
Este livro, esta história mostra-nos que todas as possibilidades têm de ser sempre analisadas e conquistadas, não interessa nem o "como" ou o "onde" ou até mesmo o "porquê" de se lutar por essas possibilidades. Quem nos dá uma grande lição é Sophie, a menina estra
...more
Donna
Oct 30, 2015 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written book about a good hearted and generally polite girl on a search for her mother. Sophie has a stubborn streak, refusing to accept that her mother drowned when the Queen Mary sank.

On her arrival in France she meets a young boy Matteo and his friends who live upon the rooves or in the trees. The story is a race across the skyline of Paris following the music in a quest to find her mother.

Katherine Rundell has written a wholesome uplifting story that imparts that anything is po
...more
Sofia Teixeira
Há muito mais sobre este livro do que o que pode saltar à primeira vista. Se há algo que julgo bastante importante é que os livros juvenis tragam com eles não só o tom encantador do (im)possível, como também, de forma sublime e quase sem darmos conta, pequenas lições e demonstrações de como lutar por aquilo em que acreditamos. São precisos heróis de todas as idades para que nos acompanhem ao longo do nosso crescimento, sendo que na idade adulta torna-se fundamental reencontrarmos um eu perdido, ...more
Josiphine
The first third of this book was five-star stuff. I loved Sophie and I really loved Charles (he was the best character by far) and Rundell's writing is charming. But the books sort of faded as it went on: there was not nearly enough Charles (though I liked the new characters too), and it got a little too plot-centric. And then there was the ending. What ending? Did you see an ending? Because I must have blinked and missed it. The book just ends--it doesn't really tie up anything. The climax rush ...more
Aidrielle
Apr 18, 2016 Aidrielle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
*first read sometime in 2014
*parts of the book have been reread overtime

so, i finally got a physical copy of this book. it took three months, an exhausting trip to the post office, and a whole lot of money and patience, but it was all worth it, because this book was beautiful.

where do i start? i absolutely adored every single part of this book. the writing felt like home. the way katherine rundell describes each character and every emotion they feel is breathtaking. every chapter is full of magi
...more
Sorrel
May 08, 2013 Sorrel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Woah, I can't believe that is the cover they show you! The one I've got is so beautiful... Anyway I guess I should start talking about the book? Well to start let me just say I have not read anything that has been so completely and shockingly beautiful that I am way past crying in about... well a long time. I think it may have been aimed at younger audiences but it mattered not. The story was so utterly simple but wonderful in this simplicity. You fell in love with all of the characters despite ...more
Skip
Jul 06, 2014 Skip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You just have to love Katherine Rundell: "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." One year old Sophie is found floating in a cello case, and is adopted by bachelor, Charles Maxim, after they survive a shipwreck. He raises her unconventionally, always encouraging her to consider the possibles. When Sophie turns 12, Social Services decides it is inappropriate for her to liv ...more
Sophie
Jan 19, 2014 Sophie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, kids, adults, girls, people named Sophie, seriously just read it
I have a very carefully curated to-read list on Goodreads, but sometimes it's the books I pick up on a whim at the library that I end up loving the most.

Why isn't there more of this book? Why aren't more books like this book? How is this book so good? Why wasn't this book around when I was a kid?

Rooftoppers is gorgeously written and utterly charming. I read it, and then I read it again to add all the quotes I loved to Goodreads. (I may have gone overboard with the quotes.) I only wish it were a
...more
Louise Jones
Mar 15, 2016 Louise Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think knowing Katherine made this book even more wonderful. Hearing her soothing, ethereal voice speaking those magical words in my head was truly captivating. A fantastically written story with lovely stomach-warming moments throughout. It was very hard to not applaud on my commuter train as I finished it.
Amanda
Dec 05, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
"She begins each day with a cartwheel and believes reading is almost exactly the same as cartwheeling: it turns the world upside down and leaves you breathless."

This morsel of magic on the book flap gives readers a glimpse into the kind of gravity shifting story Rundell offers. The adventure of an orphan named Sophie, the man who finds her, and their search for her mother is extraordinary and perfect in almost every way. In that pregnant pause that happens after reading the very last sentence, m
...more
Simay Yildiz
Bu yazının orijinali Zimlicious'ta yayınlandı.

Domingo Yayınları‘nın dilimize kazandırdığı Gökyüzü Çocukları, bugüne kadar okuduğum en orijinal ve en sevimli çocuk kitaplarından biri. Genellikle yazarlar başka kitaplar hakkında yorumu para ile yapıyorlar ama Philip Pullman (ki onun çocuk kitapları da efsanedir), Gökyüzü Çocukları yazarı Katherine Rundell için “benzersiz bir sese ve sınırsız bir hayal gücüne sahip” demiş. Çok doğru söylemiş!

Sophie, ailesini bir gemi kazasında kaybettiği için şanss
...more
Kristina
Mar 21, 2016 Kristina rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read! <3
The writing style was simply phenomenal! Strongly recommend this to people who enjoy art it its finest!
Sara
Feb 05, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always afraid to read books that dear friends have adored, because what happens if I'm not charmed? And for the first bit of this, I was sure I wasn't going to enjoy it. But then all of a sudden I was grinning like a fool, and by the end I was half-teary, so it all worked out fine. Lovely little story.
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Around the Year i...: Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell 1 11 Jan 10, 2016 08:11PM  
Sha Tin College C...: Carnegie Shortlist 2014: Rooftoppers 3 3 Apr 29, 2014 08:51PM  
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Katherine Rundell was born in 1987 and grew up in Africa and Europe. In 2008 she was elected a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Her first book, The Girl Savage, was born of her love of Zimbabwe and her own childhood there; her second, Rooftoppers, was inspired by summers working in Paris and by night-time trespassing on the rooftops of All Souls. She is currently working on her doctorate along ...more
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“I do, I’m afraid, understand books far more readily than I understand people. Books are so easy to get along with.” 50 likes
“Books crowbar the world open for you.” 36 likes
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