‘Running on the Roof of the World’ is a remarkable debut from Jess Butterworth which takes the reader on a thrilling perilous journey across the Himalayas. Tash and her family live in Tibet, a world where every move they make is watched by soldiers who are desperate for them to break the rules so that they can dole out punishment. Tash finds these constraints unbearable and when her parents are seized by soldiers she must go with her friend Sam on a mission that will break all the rules, to save them. To rescue them, they must escape Tibet, cross over the mountains to India to reach the Dalai Lama facing the most arduous conditions and terrifying danger than they ever could have imagined.
This is the most extraordinary of stories, Jess transports the reader to the Himalayas with the most rich and evocative descriptions that will stimulate all your senses. You can tell that she has spent a lot of time there as you get a true insiders feel, a real sense of this place as opposed to feeling like an observer looking in. The story flows quickly with short punchy chapters capturing the drama and movement of Tash and Sam frantically making their way across the mountains trying to evade capture. Hold your breath as you embark on an extraordinary adventure through unknown lands where danger is lurking all around you. At the heart of this story is a tale of friendship, courage and survival both Tash and Sam face unsurmountable challenges which they must overcome to save themselves and Tash’s parents. It provides a wonderful opportunity for children to gain an insight into the trials and tribulations many children face on a daily basis around the world, a really important book to teach them empathy.
Not only is this book beautiful inside, it has an absolutely stunning cover illustrated by Rob Biddulph and each chapter has the most intricate illustrations designed by the in-house team at Hachette. This is one of the books that I have been sent a proof for that I am compelled to buy the finished version, so that I can fully enjoy it’s beauty. The book is less than 200 pages without the illustrations, alongside the short chapters make this story really accessible for readers who may be fazed by a longer book. It really is a must have book for every primary school library, I know that I will buying a copy for mine.
Thank you to Orion for sending me a copy of this fabulous book.