Terry Fan, Katherine Rundell
Embrace possibility in this luminous novel about a girl in search of her past who discovers a secret rooftop world in Paris.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.”

Book Details


  • Adventure
  • Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 8 - 12
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Rooftoppers starts as a different kind of story, a memory of a girl named Sophie. It all begins with a strange cello case drifting in the sea after a ship wreck. As fate would have it, a scholar by the name of Charles was also stranded at sea as a result of the shipwreck. While drifting by the cello case, he saw something. Imagine the astonishment he must have felt when, after inspecting the case, he finds a small girl safely tucked away inside the case.

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