Charles Maxim, flawed and perfect

What draws us to the fictional characters? There’s so much really. How the character is introduced. How they speak. Their perfections. Their flaws.

In Rooftoppers, author Katherine Rundell introduces us to Charles Maxim. He is Sophie’s ward.

Charles is not a smiler. He is not a skipping and kicking your heels with joy type of man. He eats and sleeps little but is somehow not cranky. He is kind. He is generous. He is quotable.

Curiously, Katherine Rundell introduces Charles to us multiple times with different methods. The first intro is a third person introduction:

Charles ate little, and slept rarely, and he did not smile as often as other people. But he had kindness where other people had lungs, and politeness in his fingertips.

Rundell, Katherine. Rooftoppers. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013, pg 11

Then through his character assessment file at the National Childcare Agency:

“C.P. Maxim is bookish, as one would expect of a scholar-also apparently generous, awkward, industrious. He is unusually tall, but doctors’ reports suggest he is otherwise healthy. He is stubbornly certain of his ability to care for a female ward.”

Rundell, Katherine. Rooftoppers. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013, pg 8

Clever approach that. Reinforces who Charles Maxim is without boring us. Katherine Rundell doesn’t create balsa wood characters.

Ok, onto the quotes.

Aptly named, a Charles Maxim quote book should exist. Here’s a few to take home with you.

On parenting:

I am sure the secrets of child care, dark and mysterious though they no doubt are, are not impenetrable.

On books:

Books crowbar the the world open for you.

On eating ice cream:

I have a theory” he said, “That the the best place to eat ice cream is in the rain on the outside box of a four-horse carriage.

On the importance of umbrellas:

I am an Englishman. I always have an umbrella. I would no more go out without my umbrella than I would leave the house without my small intestine.

On life:

Never ignore a possible!

Pick up Rooftoppers from somewhere!


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