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Rooftoppers

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  7,603 ratings  ·  1,359 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 Faber
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Michael King I didn't much care for this book either. Forced myself to finish it. The last few chapters kind of kicked in a little and I found myself tearing up at…moreI didn't much care for this book either. Forced myself to finish it. The last few chapters kind of kicked in a little and I found myself tearing up at the very end. Overall though not one I decided to keep and not one I would recommend.(less)
Mary McDaniel That is not a question. It is a statement with a question mark at the end.

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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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, intell
...more
karen
May 25, 2013 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 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: Arah-Leah Hay
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
...more
Annet
Charming young adult book about an orphan girl, Sophie, who looks for her mother of whom she is convinced she is alive... in Paris, travelling over rooftops together with Charles her guardian and sort of 'stepfather' and a band of rooftop children... 3.4 maybe more. Will return for more!

A beautiful story about pursuing your dreams and never ignoring a 'possible'.
Everyone tells Sophie that she was orphaned in a shipwreck. But Sophie is convinced her mother also survived. When no one
...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

Short and sweet - an urban fairytale targeted at children that should be reviewed in the spirit it was written and not by grown-up standards.
The opening chapters remind me strongly of "The Storied Life of A J Fikry", but later developments turn original and distinctive, proof that Katherine Rundell is not simply writing fanfic about a bookish bachelor who tries to raise a young girl on his own, opposed by social services and keen on passing on his love for the written word.

I do,/>
...more
Roger Brunyate

      "They told me that she was dead, and I didn’t believe them. Why did she believe it? Why didn’t she keep looking?"
      "My darling, because she is an adult."
      Sophie ducked behind her hair. Her face was hot and tight and angry. "That’s not a reason."
      "It is, my love. Adults are taught not to believe anything unless it is boring or ugly."
      "That’s stupid of them," she said.
      "Sad, child, but not stupid. It is difficult to believe extraordinary things. It’s a talent you have, Sophie. Don’t lose it."
It is difficult to believe extraordinary things when you're an adult. Bshe
...more
Jo
Mar 19, 2013 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 o
...more
Hannah
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
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 ext
...more
Drew
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 descriptions of the
...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 childrens,
...more
Rachel
Sophie couldn’t ask for a more loving guardian – or a better friend – than Charles Maxim, the scholar who took her in as a baby after a shipwreck. But she insists she has snatches of memories of her mother, and she longs to find her. When the child welfare hawks threaten to take Sophie away from Charles, the Maxim duo decide there is no better chance for them to run away to Paris and seek Sophie’s mother.

A venture onto the hotel rooftop opens Sophie’s world when she discovers a commu
...more
Maddie
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I really loved the setting: who knew there was so much you had to learn before calling the rooftops you're home? Although I thought it was a little trope-y, with the lost mother, the thwarted search and the outside-the-box approach to growing up, I still had a fun time jumping from buildings and diving in rivers with Sophie and Matteo!
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 pair travel there and
...more
Chelsea
Nov 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
3 stars, a delightful middle grade story. Rooftoppers is a quick read that is easy to fly through, with likable characters and a mystery at heart, though I wasn’t quite invested in the story.

This is also a bit of historical fiction that takes place in England and Paris, which makes it stand out from other middle grade books.

A man named Charles finds a baby floating in a cello case in the river after a shipwreck. He names the baby Sophie and decides to raise her as his own. As Sophie grows older, child ser/>This
...more
Hallie
Jan 03, 2017 added it
Shelves: childrens
4.5

Jen gave me this lovely book for Christmas, and it was the perfect way to start off the reading year. You're likely to hear the 'timeless children's book' descriptor a lot, and with good reason. It's timeless in the sense that it's a non-specified date in the past (early 1900s? Later 1800s?) when women were not cellists and were not supposed to wear trousers, but when it also feels perfectly right for a delightful man like Charles to rescue a baby, take her home and raise her, without bothe
...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
May 05, 2014 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
...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:
...more
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
Loved this book. Heart eyes for Sophie and Charles and Matteo.
Esa Khairina
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pick your suit: reading this book in a balcony with morning summer air and lime and birds chirping OR reading this book by the window in rainy night accompanied by hot chocolate and your cat. Either way, this book will give you a dazzling, dreamy sense of adventure.

This books fill my heart with so much feels and warmth. I can't help but thinking about Heidi and Amélie (yes, Audrey Totou). Even though the pace needs some time to pick up and the ending is too rushed for my liking, this
...more
jesse
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jesse by: karen
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 to rooftop and explore other people
...more
Sorrel
Apr 03, 2013 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
Kristina
Feb 24, 2016 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!
Michael Fierce
Aug 08, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael Fierce by: Arah-Lynda
Something tells me you don't have to be a little girl to like this book.
Roya
Rundell reminds me a little of David Almond- she has great ideads but cannot integrate them fully into her writing. They're like neon signs: you cannot help but see them first, apart from their surroundings, and it hurts the eyes. Her prose is extremely beautiful, but her plots-at least this one- lack peculiarity, you know? They are too general, bordering on cliche.
Her novels always have something memorable, rooftops and food for this one. But, as a whole, they're not fully fleshed out. O
...more
Melki
Mothers are worth hunting for.

Charles is a happy bachelor when he finds a baby floating in a cello case in the English Channel. He names her Sophie, and takes her home to raise. Things are fine for years, but then The Authorities catch wind of the arrangement . . . and, of course, they get involved.

Sophie and Charles head for Paris, both to avoid the child services' busybodies, and to look for Sophie's mother. There Sophie's fondness for hanging about on rooftops allows her to meet a whole new group of Parisians, and to se
...more
Skip
Jul 06, 2014 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
Josiphine/Tessa
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
Cheryl
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some imperfections in the details, but it has an interesting adventure, delightful characters, some very lovely writing, and besides, it's so very original & creative that it gets the bonus star. Read an edition with a dark cover, like the one I did... the current GR default is *wrong* because rooftoppers do *not* want to be seen and so are mostly nocturnal. And do read it; it's short and gives one hope that there will continue to be *new* stories.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Fantasy/Adventure. [s] 5 44 Mar 23, 2018 06:33AM  
The Ending... 1 9 Oct 20, 2017 08:33AM  
Around the Year i...: Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell 1 20 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.” 81 likes
“I think, actually, everyone starts out with some strange in them. It's just whether or not you decide to keep it.” 56 likes
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