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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  519 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Cousins Clay and Addison were like brothers, growing up together in the projects, until they were ripped apart by a family argument. When they are reunited in a drug-treatment program, they try to work out their issues like a family. But one night, one wrong decision, leaves Clay shaken and Addison dead. And in the rash of events that follow, the truth of what actually hap ...more
Paperback, 199 pages
Published May 17th 2007 by Puffin (first published June 1st 2006)
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I’ve recently finished Rooftop by Paul Volponi. This book is about two cousins
named Clay and Addison who are reunited in a drug-treatment program called
Daytop, after being split up as kids due to an argument between Clay’s mother
and Addison’s mother. Well, once they are reunited at this program despite
Clay’s drug problem and Addison’s drug selling problem, they’re relationship
becomes tight that they’re actually like brothers more than cousins. While in
this program, attending everyday, Clay
Volponi, author of Black and White, is back on the streets with another tale of teens caught up in drugs, crime, and a shot at redemption. Like in Black and White, the book spins on the central question of working up the nerve to tell the truth. Clay and his cousin Addison meet up in the same drug program. A disagreement about money with another teen (Clorox) leads Clay and Addison to the rooftop of a building where a tragedy occurs. Addison is accidentally shot by the police, and Clay must deci ...more
I give this a 5 star because it didnt waite till the middle of the story to get good. write when you star reading it, it gets good. well I couldnt stop reading the book even during band class.
Nov 30, 2009 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who aren't easily offended by "bad words" and lots of references to pot.
Recommended to Jill by: Abraham Lincoln 2010 list
This is one of the Abraham Lincoln award nominees, so it is a young adult book. A bit higher than my average pick... but it's all good in the hood.

Anyway, this book was really, really good. It was about the projects in New York and a couple of cousins who lived there and were also attending drug rehab together.

I was really impressed with the author. Really. In a lot of books, the authors throw in awkward "teenage lingo" or slang words that they assume their characters would use if they were real
Jason Alvord
I gave this book a 4 star rating because I couldn't stop reading after the beginning. The beginning I will admit was slow but started getting extremely interesting afterwards. Reading this book was almost like watching a movie. Volpnoi did a great job of describing stuff and making you feel like you are right there.

Without giving away to much I can honestly say this book is extremely good once you get past the beginning, I promise you it will get better. This is also a great novel for teenagers
Feb 16, 2014 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
The thing I liked about this book is that the characters and setting all seemed regular/normal. Too often books set in the "bad part of town" hype up the badness so much that the story can have the opposite effect that it was meant to. The people and their experiences can seem so different from the average middle class teen (or even poor teen who doesn't live in the projects) that it can be hard for a teen reader to relate.

I guess I didn't read it closely enough, because I didn't understand why
Clay and his cousin, Addison, are in a Day Program that helps young people get off drugs, form better habits, build community, and finish their education. On the night they are supposed to attend a party at the center, they wind up chasing a guy who owes Addison money onto a rooftop. Police follow them and somewhere in the darkness and confusion, they open fire on the boys. Addison, waving his wallet around in a threatening manner, is killed outright. Clay is pressured to describe the incident a ...more
Fred Kirchner
Written by a man who formerly taught incarcerated youth on Riker's Island to read and write, Volponi's Rooftop crackles with up-to-the-minute realism. The story of 17 year old Clay, who's been in a drug rehab program for the last four months and Clay's older cousin, Addison, who shows up at treatment one day. Addison deals crack and also has his own drug problems. The cousins reconcile after their families split over other issues months before, and begin to support each other to stay clean on th ...more
Jake Benson
Sep 23, 2010 Jake Benson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone that likes shorter books and has a hard time getting in the "zone"
This book is called Rooftop by Paul Volponi. It fits in the realistic fiction genre.I think the point of this book was to show the life of a addict and show that some people think they loose all feelings witch in fact they do. The book affected me by showing me what kind of genres i would like. A personal experience is my friend that went to a camp for anger and he says storys about stuff like kids getting into trouble.I would deffinatly reccomend this book to teenagers because i hate reading bu ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for

In ROOFTOP, Clay, arrested for drug possession, is enrolled in a special program called Daytop. It's for teens on parole. Kids report to the Daytop Center during the day where counselors (recovering drug offenders themselves) run a strict program complete with a philosophy statement, chores and responsibilities, study time for the GED, and a sense of family most of the kids are missing.

At Daytop, Clay runs into a cousin he hasn't
Rooftop is a first person narrative from Paul Volponi, who formerly taught incarcerated youth on Riker's Island. The story is easy to read and holds the reader with up-to-the-minute realism through street slang and an inner-city perspective. Clay, the main character, is with his cousin Addison when Addison gets shot by the police. Who Addision and Clay are, why the cousins are on the roof, and what happens at the shooting put Clay in the middle of a complex twist of facts and politics- about rac ...more
Liza Wiemer
Once again Paul Volponi shows how he is the king of urban fiction. I dive into his books knowing that I'm going to meet unforgettable characters. The people in ROOFTOP are no exception. The events and characters may be completely fiction - but you'd never know it. Long after I shut this book and Volponi's other books I'm thinking about what his characters have experienced. I dare anyone to pick up this book or any other Volponi book and not find that you care - but even more important that you a ...more
When most people think of rehab they automatically think of celebrities such as Lindsney Lohan. But rehab is acutally for eveyone who needs it. Rehab isn't always fun, or pretty, or easy. Rather than exploring the issue by race and pretending it doesnt exist,this book does a fantastic job of illustrating that rehab isn't just about what race you are. Consequences for everyone can unfold and escalate in rapid-fire fashion. The genre of this book is Realistic Fiction. Events in this story could ha ...more
Unique Morris
Imagine living in a neighborhood with drugs, drug dealing, and much more crime. Now think about how live people in those lifestyles. Crazy huh? Rooftop is a realistic fiction story. My opinion of this story is that it is very heartbreaking and inspiring.
In the beginning of Rooftop, the main character Clay is introduced, and he is going to school at a drug program because he used to smoke marijuana a lot. As Clay is going up the stairs to his school, he hears a familiar voice, which he soon re
Dec 11, 2013 Ashlee added it

Ashlee Lukasek

Ms. Parks

English 2


The novel "Rooftop" by Paul Volponi is about two cousins who are basically like brothers. These cousins were very close until they got themselves into a situation which tore them apart. Clay and Addison met again in the drug-treatment center where they tried to work out their issues like a real family members. I don't usually like to read but as soon as I started to read this book I couldn't stop so I would say this book had a lot of impact on me as a rea
Rocio F.
Rocio Flores
Book review (#1 Rooftop)

Two kids ages 17-18 lived in Long Island city and they go to high school. Here we have Addison he was only 16 years old he used to drink and sell drugs to different gangbangers. His cousin clay was 17 years old he used to do the same thing as Addison. They both ended up in a drug program for months. Addison never passed his classes in day top but he and his cousin clay always selled drugs to different gangbangers to get money. They were getting far ap
Reunited after a family argument separated them, cousins Clay and Addison meet up at a drug rehabilitation center in New York. Clay seems to be following the center's rules of drug avoidance, but Addison isn't quite as sure about it. When fellow 'family' member, Clorox, of the center rips Addison off, he and Clay follow him to a New York project rooftop with the intention of getting his money back. However, the cops follow Addison and Clay and thinking Addison is armed and pointing a gun at them ...more
Olivia H
Okay when I first saw this book in the library, i thought the cover was really weird but, the back turned out to be promising. So I started reading it and instantly like it. One of the things that stumped me through out the whole book was the cover. When I found out what it meant it made sense instantly. This book was well written, each page made me want to read more and more. This book is also a great book for teenage that are in to more mature books and don't mind swearing or anything violent. ...more
Jenise Colon
My humanities teacher Leona recommened this book to me. She has not read this book but plenty of people recommened it to her. Now I think I would recommend it to people who like books about teenage drama or to just teenagers in general. I would do this because when ur a teenager you might want to be "down" and in order to do that you may think you have to get in trouble, do drugs, or do what other people do. In this book clay is on the influence of smokin weed with his friends and he trys to st ...more
Clay has stayed clean while he's at the Daytop Rehabilitation Center. The other teens at the center are like family, and Clay is even studying for the GED. But then his cousin Addison shows up, and Addison is still running with the wrong crowd.

Addison and Clay are on a project rooftop one night, and thinking a rival drug dealer is coming up the stairs after them, Addison pulls his wallet out and holds it like a gun. When the police come through the door, they shoot and kill Addison.

The police
It took me a little while to get into this book but I enjoyed it. I think there are some good lessons to be learned especially in regards to the old saying "blood is thicker than water"...or is it? As with most of Volponi's books, he writes in a voice that teen males, especially those from inner-city or tougher neighborhoods, can identify with.
This book brings out the shadows of doubt among the confusion of a teen who is doing his best to be a better man. When he loses his family, he doesn't know where to turn, or what to do when it feels like words are being put in his mouth. The story of a boy who finds himself among the death of his family.
Nov 27, 2009 Anna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: middle school boys, reluctant readers
I tried to read this once before and couldn't get into it. Lucky for me, I actually bought the book (versus getting it from the library) so I decided to give it a second shot before I just added it to my classroom library without reading. And, boy, am I glad I did.

This is a really complicated story. It's well developed, has a cast of very memorable characters, and Volponi tackles extremely relevant issues including racism, drugs, drug dealing, shootings, cops, and failure to succeed in school. T
Nov 20, 2008 Richie added it
It's an amazing book that can be related to today's society in a sense of police corruption and a troubled young man trapt in the a poor neighborhood. This book will keep the reader interest from the begining to the end of the story. This book shows the story of two inner cousins, Clay and Addison, who reunite in a New York City treatment center called Daytop. In this center, Clay and Addison are to tested to rethink their views on drugs and wrong choices. In the mid point of this novel, everyth ...more
Wow, two cousins/friends fighting addictions go to voluntary rehab together and suddenly one is snatched away forever by a gunshot. Paul Volponi does such a great job capturing Clay and Addison's relationship, the mean streets in the neighborhood of drugs and guns and parents trying successfully and unsucessfully to keep their sons safe. Clay really struggles with his addictions as the reverberations of Addison's death keep hitting him--my heart went out to him and teens will love the drama, ang ...more
Rooftop takes place in a rough, New York neighborhood and tells the story of two cousins who are struggling to survive amidst a backdrop of drugs, apathy and violence. Likely inspired by the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant who died after being shot 41 times by Queens police, Rooftop takes a similar scenario and applies it to a group of troubled teenagers. Overall, I felt that this book was good, but some of the trite dialogue kept it from being great. Be warned, the ...more
Misty Wirth
This book is sad but it turns out good in the end! I've learned from this book, no matter what pain or sorrow or hatred one's family may go through, a family is still a family, and they look out for each other. The main character is Clay, and when tradjedy hits his already broken family, he stands up and moves forward staying strong instead of letting his life completly fall apart. Whether it be Clay's bloodline family or his family at the Daytop Treatment Center, the trajedy that killed his cou ...more
I did not care for this book -- thought it kind of confusing
Oct 05, 2010 Junior added it
This book is crazy , kids talk about they're addictions and they go to some kind of rehab . Clay ( the main character ) has a cousin who does not talk to since they was young and they met in the rehab . Addison who was Clay's cousin does good in the program but gets into some trouble dealing on the block. He finds they guy that owes him money which is Clorox and Addison gets shot by the cops because they thought he had a gat . Clay takes it serious but does not need weed to fall on and he was cu ...more
Clay & Addison are cousins that are attending Daytop, a day treatment program for students that were expelled from regular high school for drug involvement. This is their last chance before Jail. Clay is arrested for smoking pot while his cousin Addison is a crack dealer.

One night, Addison chases another teen who owes him money. Up on the rooftop a terrible incident occurs and Addison is shot by a white police officer in front of Clay. Clay has to make a choice. Does he tell the truth or is
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