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The Storybarn selects… from The Reader Bookshelf

Written by Roxanne Vella, 26th April 2022

To celebrate the launch of the new Reader Bookshelf we've asked members of our Children & Young People Team to talk about their favourite children's books from the collection.

This year's Bookshelf theme is Light and Darkness, and our Storybarn Coordinator, Roxanne Vella, tells us why Katherine Rundell's Rooftoppers deserves a space on the shelf. 



Rooftoppers is a book so very full of light that it would have been impossible for us not to include it on our bookshelf this year, and to be honest any bookshelf that doesn’t include at least one book by Katherine Rundell is incomplete in my opinion!

Sophie is just a year old with hair the colour of lightening when she is rescued from the sea by Charles following a shipwreck. The only clues she has to who she is and where is comes from are the memories she claims she has of her mother, and the cello case she is found floating in. Everyone but Sophie believes her mother is dead and when Charles becomes Sophie’s guardian, they become the light in each other lives.

They live in a house of books and chaos; and they are a wonderful example of an alternative family, two people who really believe in each other and encourage each other. Terrified of being parted they flee London, where Sophie discovers a secret world of barefooted children on the rooftops of Paris.

There is something so enticing and magical about secret worlds without grown-ups in them, and in Rooftoppers the specificity of an adventure that can only be had in the twilight, moonlight and dawn is absolutely tantalising. This is the perfect book for a spirited young reader who believes in life’s possibilities!

Words by Roxanne Vella

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