Cellist on the Roof
For an interesting historical read, I recommend Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell. The scene is England in the 1890’s. Surviving the shipwreck of the ocean liner he is on, eccentric scholar Charles Maxim rescues a toddler floating in a cello case. He names her Sophie and keeps her despite the disapproval of the children’s services. The two of them form a loving family. Charles lets Sophie draw on the walls and wear trousers and buys her a Cello. There are no women professional musicians, but Sophie swears that her mother played the Cello. When Sophie turns 12 years old, the authorities send them a letter saying they will be coming to get Sophie. Sophie is so mad she destroys the cello case and finds a makers label under the lining. The cello case was made in Paris, so Charles and Sophie put on disguises and take a midnight train to Paris to look for her mother. Sophie gets help in her search from Matteo and other orphans who live on the roofs of Paris. Readers in grades four to six will enjoy this realistic historical story that contains just the right touch of fantasy.