Published by Faber and Faber
This was a one sitting read, so you know this is a going to be a glowing review! Sophie is found as a baby floating in a cello case following a shipwreck which appears to have taken the life of her mother. Charles, a single academic, with a wonderful, joyful and inquisitive zest for life takes her in and raises her, much to the displeasure of the lady from the National Childcare Agency. Charles allows Sophie to explore the world for herself, developing her own ideas, and most importantly, making sure she doesn't dismiss the impossible too quickly.
The impossible in this tale of course, is that Sophie's mother is still alive, and there are clues that she may be in Paris. The pair set off across the channel to try and find her. In Paris, Sophie meets a group of street children who live on the rooftops of the elegant Paris buildings, and they help her in her quest to find her Mother.
This has a true fairy tale element to it. The writing is beautiful, although the descriptions of the children travelling across the rooftops won't be good for anyone with vertigo! The relationship between Charles and Sophie is perfect and touching, both characters written with a really delicate touch. It is very different from a lot of recent children's literature in that it isn't set in a dystopian future, there are no vampires or other supernatural beings, and no violence, just a beautiful, and exciting story about a girl looking for her mother.