Running On The Roof Of The World

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Book Review - Running on the Roof of the World - Jess Butterworth

Running on the roof of the world by Jess Butterworth is about Tash a young girl who lives in Tibet? She had always had a peaceful life with her parents and her friend Sam, but everything changed when the soldiers took over. Tash is forced to live under a great set of rules which must be followed at all cost otherwise you were taken through the one-way door; jail. But worst of all only the pronunciation of two words could get you thrown in jail or even executed, two words in their village that hold so much power; Dalai Lama. 

But one day a man sets himself on fire in protest against the Chinese soldiers, and after that things change for Tash and Sam drastically. Tash’s parents are captured by the soldiers as her and Sam are forced to break the rules and flee across the Himalayas with nothing but yaks on the journey.

 Tash is determined to make it to India and seeks help from Dalai Lama in a desperate rescue to help save her parents. Meanwhile they try their best to decode a message which Tash’s father has written in order to save their village and free the innocent. 

Tash has always hated the Chinese soldiers who patrolled the villages path. she and her Best friend Sam were just walking home from school one day when they passed the market place and gaped at what they saw. There, to their horrified eyes, was a man running around on fire waving the flag of their village. Things were never the same after that. 

Soldiers were coming round banging at every door and seized Tash’s parents, she reluctantly managed to escape with Sam. now they must brave the dangerous journey ahead of them through the Himalayas. what will the gang do when a group of stranger capture them!? 

or when they can’t decipher the message her dad head sent? Or if Dalai Lama refuses to help them? Our young heroes are faced with numerous obstacles but are they ready for what lie at the end of their journey?!  

I’m a big fan of Jess Butterworth and I loved reading her second book, when the mountains roared. It is such an inspiring book; the way Tash braves the snowy mountains of the Himalayas in order to deliver her father’s message. Even when life throws so many obstacles at her she manages to persevere with only a though that Dalai Lama will save her family, which might not even be true.

 It is a book for tweens and teens. Full of adventure, friendship, loss, perseverance, thrill and historyI love the way Jess has set the scenes in the mountains and explains the atmosphere in a realistic way, describing how the characters would feel in the blizzard or big trudges of snow. The character of Sam also deserves so much credit as his dad doesn’t give much attention to him, yet he still chases his dreams to be on the secret rebellion society with Tash’s dad. 

They have always wanted to be part of the rebellion; however, her dad always refuses and says that they’re not ready. So, Tash is more determined than ever to prove her dad wrong.  

“Dalai Lama” 


Jess Butterworth herself has met Dalai Lama so I think this story fits in perfectly with her background. This book also highlights an important time in history when the Chinese took over Tibet. Their Closest ally was India where the famous peacemaker Dalai Lama resided, so they crossed the vast Himalayas just with hope that with the stories they’re heard that he will help them. But there is only so much someone can do for everybody, after all they aren’t the only migrants. 

Talking about Jess Butterworth herself, she is an amazing author and deserves some buckets credit for this amazing book. Running on the roof of the world is such and an inspiring book read as you are guided through the hardship filled journey Tash takes on. Coming from a similar background as Tash, Jess Butterworth spent her childhood between the UK and India, growing up with the stories of the Himalayas from her grandmother. She’s lived in India and even met with Dalai Lama. She studied creative writing at Bath Spa University and now lives in Louisiana, USA. 

So overall I give Running on the Roof of the World a 4 ½ out of 5 

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