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Book Reviews: Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

Book Reviews: Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
Published by Faber and Faber on 7 March 2013
Format: eBook
Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, and shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal.


My mother is still alive, and she is going to come for me one day.

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 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 sky. Together they scour the city for Sophie's mother before she is caught and sent back to London, and most importantly before she loses hope.


Review by Dylan, age 9

Hello, my name is Dylan and this is my review of Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell.

I read this book on a Kindle. Kindles are good because I didn’t have to go to the book store and find out they didn’t have the book like normal. It just popped up in front of me. Hooray for ebooks.

Firstly, I really liked the way this book used things from history, such as the Queen Mary (The ship, not the real queen – queens don’t sink) certain music and lots of other things. It made it a good mix of real things and sort-of-magic things, which made the sort-of-magic things seem more magical.

Without too many spoilers, in case whoever is reading this hasn’t read the book yet, the book is basically about a child who was rescued in the destruction of the Queen Mary (still the ship). She grows up with a foster father who calls her Sophie, because he thinks she needs a normal name after all the very abnormal things that have happened to her like floating around the ocean in a cello case. The two of them are very happy together like people who are left alone to be themselves usually are.

But eventually the social services do an inspection and they say she isn’t being taken care of properly. This is because government people who make rules don’t realize that if everyone is not the same then everyone should not have the same rules. They decide to run away to a place because Sophie speculates she’ll find her mother there. I can’t say anymore or else the story might be ruined.

Although this is a serious kind of book and it is written by someone who is very good at English it is not too educational. This is a good thing, by the way. The only educational thing in this book is the wild vocabulary. (My mum just read this to check my spelling and punctuation and she says it should be ‘wide’ vocabulary, but she said ‘wild vocabulary’ is much better and I should leave it in).

It is a good book to be read by 9 or 10+ ages.

Wow! I think this is probably the only review I’ve ever done that actually takes things seriously. Maybe it’s because it is for both Book Walrus and for my Reading Journal Easter English homework that my teacher will mark. (Hello, Mr Vipond!!) So this is called killing two birds with one stone which sounds violent but it’s good if it means I don’t have to write another book review as I have other things to do. I wasted 48 hours of my holiday trying to complete Super Mario Galaxy 2 because I didn’t transfer the data from the Wii to the Wii U so I have to complete my 4 million Wii games again.

Finally, I think this book deserves a 4.5/5 star rating for talking about things in a way I haven’t seen before and for having an AMAZING plot. It lost 0.5 because for such an amazing book it didn’t have a great ending because it felt kind of unfinished. But I can’t talk about it much because of spoilers.



  1. Ah dylan, you rock, we just read your review and loved it and laughed a lot ;) well done x

  2. Just read your review,Dylan.Really different,thus original.I don’t know what your Mum means by ‘wide vocabulary’ but yours is fine.Hope you found time to enjoy the Wii.

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