Running on the Roof of the World

Jess Butterworth / Children's

Warwickshaw Book Award

Book cover

UK Publisher

Orion Children's Books

US Publisher

Algonquin Books

Date Published

June 1st, 2017


Carusel Multimedia (Romanian) Algonquin (American) San Paolo (Italian)

Dramatic Rights


There are two words that are banned in Tibet. Two words that can get you locked in prison without a second thought. I watch the soldiers tramping away and call the words after them. ‘Dalai Lama.’ 

Tash has to follow many rules to survive in Tibet, a country occupied by Chinese soldiers. But when a man sets himself on fire in protest and soldiers seize Tash’s parents, she and her best friend Sam must break the rules. They are determined to escape Tibet – and seek the help of the Dalai Lama himself in India.

And so, with a backpack of Tash’s father’s mysterious papers and two trusty yaks by their side, their extraordinary journey across the mountains begins.


RUNNING ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD won the Warwickshaw Book Award and was chosen as a future classic for BookTrust. It was longlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Award.


A story relevant to the world that we live in today, told with compassion and understanding

- The Guardian

Daring kids, sidekick yaks, Himalayan setting - all the ingredients of a smashing adventure. Loved Running On The Roof Of The World.

- Abi Elphinstone

A wonderful debut. The book itself looks beautiful and the story of two young friends trying to escape across the mountains from Tibet to India is vividly told. Tense and incredibly moving, and it's beautifully written too. The prose is almost poetic at time. It's one of those books that will live with you long after you finish it.

- Claire Fayers (Author of The Accidental Pirates)

A cracking adventure and survival novel

- Irish Independent

This unique debut novel is perfect for inspiring anyone who, like the dedication says, ‘has ever felt too small to make a difference.’

- Booklist

[T]he pages [keep] turning... raises questions about freedom, occupation, and exile.

- Kirkus Reviews

A wonderfully fast - paced read that's a celebration of courage and integrity in the face of danger, and the importance of standing up for what you believe in

- Scoop

The unique setting and Buddhist perspective adds depth to this page-turning adventure.

- School Library Journal

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