Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ROOFTOPPERS by Katherine Rundell

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Books crowbar the world open for you.

It is great books such as this that makes it so difficult to write my thoughts. It is full to bursting; I don’t know where to start. And when I do, will I want to stop?

Sophie is an orphan. Everybody believes she is, except for Sophie herself. Charles rescued her from a floating cello case when the ship sunk. Nobody else was there. But Sophie knows her mother is still out there, somewhere, not giving up on her. And so, she must find her.

Let me introduce you.
Sophie, this is Miss Eliot, from the National Childcare Agency.
Miss Eliot, this is Sophie, from the ocean.


Charles Maxim took the baby girl, and reared her as his ward the best way he could. He took charge of her education, her basic needs, and received all the love a child should have. Charles, being scholarly, read enough poetry to understand that love is vital in rearing up a child properly. At twelve, Sophie is wearing trousers, instead of dresses; she eats from atlases and books, not with plates and cutlery; and her hair is a tangle of knots. But she is well-read, can speak French, plays the cello wonderfully, and has a profound belief in possibilities.

Perhaps, she thought, that’s what love does. It’s not there to make you feel special.
It’s to make you brave. It was like a ration pack in the desert, she thought,
like a box of matches in a dark wood.
Love and courage, thought Sophie—two words for the same thing.

Charles is the perfect father any girl could have. He doesn't care about social norm, if it limits Sophie’s growth and education. He doesn't give weight to what people wear, for as long they hold themselves with respect and confidence. He doesn't give a hoot to luxury, when it is not what makes Sophie happy and content. But there are forces that do not agree with Charles, and they meant to take Sophie away.

They ran away to France, with the hope of finding Sophie’s mother. Sophie is not an orphan, and they will prove it. There, they found no help from the authorities. While Charles prowls the streets, Sophie scaled the rooftops, where she met a whole new society waiting up there.

I could easily consider ROOFTOPERS as a Children’s Classic. I missed stories such as this, it’s very rare nowadays. It pushed all the right buttons for me.  The book is written with delectable prose and language. The characters are well-developed and really convincing; you cannot help but believe in the goodness of people once again. The message it carries is actually simple, but very relevant; something we almost skip every day.

I have told her not to ignore life’s possibles.

Only skepticism can stop you from liking this book.



Book details:

Title: Rooftoppers
Publication:  Faber and Faber (February 26th 2013)
Genre: Children’s Fiction / Adventure
Rating:  ★★★★★




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