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."
Rooftoppers reads very much like two separate stories. The London section, while vital to the rest of the book, feels just a bit contrived ... In contrast, the Parisian section is magical in the way that the best fairy tales are - combining elements of the fantastic and the grittily realistic into an irresistible alchemical brew. (Reviewed by Heather A Phillips).
The Wall Street Journal
Some stories unfurl with such elegant wit that you feel the author must have been smiling constantly while typing away. Such is the case with Katherine Rundell's Rooftoppers, a sparkling and lovely novel.
Starred Review. The beauty of sky, music, and the belief in 'extraordinary things' triumph in this whimsical and magical tale.
Starred Review. A glorious adventure…the story is magic.
Starred Review. Brava! This witty, inventively poetic, fairy-tale–like adventure shimmers with love, magic and music.
Phillip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials series
Katherine Rundell's Rooftoppers, like her previous novel The Girl Savage, is the work of a writer with an utterly distinctive voice and a wild imagination.
Maryrose Wood, author of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series
Katherine Rundell's Rooftoppers is a confection of lyrical prose. Bold imaginative leaps carry the reader from one Parisian rooftop to the next in this unique and beautifully written tale of a girl in search of the mother whom everyone else believes is dead.
Sharon Creech, Newbery-award winning author of Walk Two Moons Rooftoppers drew me in immediately and carried me along straight to the end with its original voice and lively story.
Cello music plays a pivotal role in Rooftoppers. The cello is a string instrument played with a bow. It has four strings tuned to perfect fifths. It is an octave lower than a viola, and an octave and a fifth lower than a violin. The name "cello" is an abbreviation of the Italian violoncello, which means "little violone".
Andrea Amati, of Cremona, Italy, is one of three people credited with the invention of the cello, and he, without question, added a 4th string to the instrument that existed at the time. His grandson, Niccolò, also a luthier (a stringed instrument maker), taught the world famous violinmaker Antonio Stradivari, who also built cellos. These original cellos were slightly larger than...
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