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History and mystery wrapped in a thrilling supernatural plot The Turnkey is perfect for kids aged 9Flossie Birdwhistle is the Turnkey at London's Highgate Cemetery As Turnkey Flossie must ensure all the souls in the cemetery stay at rest This is a difficult job at the best of times for a twelve year old ghost but it is World War II and each night enemy bombers hammer London Even the dead are unsettled When Flossie encounters the ghost of a German soldier carrying a mysterious object she becomes suspicious What is he up to? Before long Flossie uncovers a sinister plot that could result in the destruction of not only her cemetery but also her beloved country Can Flossie stop him before it is too late?

10 thoughts on “The Turnkey

  1. says:

    35 Stars

  2. says:

    A BIG Thank You to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me a copy of “The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery” by Allison Rushby in exchange for my review This was an interesting read The story is uniue and has a good blend of adventure fantasy mystery and drama into itI enjoyed Allison Rushby’s style of writing I really liked that the backdrop was set against World War II and we get an insight of the war from a ghost’s perspective The story is set against the backdrop of London and the author depicts the grim environment it was in during that time She doesn’t shy away from the brutal realities that the people faced during the bombings Further it was interesting that the author has portrayed life after death in a very peaceful way There is no mention of heaven or hell Even the ghosts are not vengeful and restless as we would imagine It is just about keeping souls at rest in the afterlife and shown in a very serene mannerThe characters are all displayed wonderfully Flossie is a strong brave and helpful girl who persists in doing what she feels is right She is a wonderful role model for younger readers and is very inspiring in her actions to help others Even the supporting characters are charming in their own manner especially Violet and Hugo Howsham On a side note I would have liked to read a bit about Viktor Brun and why he turned out to be such a psychopathThere were a few small tidbits that I felt could have been better Personally I would have liked it if the author removed the character of Grace completely I felt this side story was unnecessary and too melodramatic I can understand why the author would want to include her in the plot but I didn’t care for it Also some of the facts mentioned in the book are inaccurate and could be misleading to younger readers The author does highlight it in the end but could have been better if it was accurate Also I wasn’t really clear as to the time lapse that happens when Flossie travels to different locations I felt that a lot of time passes by while she travels and had trouble imagining the timelines in the storyOverall “The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery” was a nice read but could have been better I rate it 35 out of 5 stars I hope this becomes a possible series as I would enjoy reading Flossie’s adventures during different incidents and milestones

  3. says:

    Flossie is 12 years old She's been the turnkey of Highgate Cemetery for uite a while now As a turnkey she must take care of the souls that come to Highgate Cemetery She's the only soul that is allowed to wander off the cemetery and on one of her excursions to St Paul's during the bombings of London in 1940 she sees the ghost of a Nazi officer This is when the story gets interesting Flossie now has to unravel the mystery of why the officer was at St Paul's this leads her not only to the turnkeys of the other London cemeteries but also to a cemetery in Berlin The story is a mix of historical fiction children's fiction ghost story and mystery I uite enjoyed it although it took me some time to get into the story I am sure childrenmiddle graders who have a basic knowledge of what happened during WW II will like it a bit than I did

  4. says:

    Flossie is the ghost of a 12 year old girl She is also a Turnkey This means she is in charge of London's Highgate cemetery and its residents When Flossie sees the ghost of a German soldier at the top of St Paul's cathedral she is very suspicious World War II is in progress and Flossie can't help thinking the German ghost might be a spyAlthough this is a story about ghosts it is not a ghost story Instead it is the story of a clever brave and determined girl who just happens to be a ghost Allison Rushby expertly weaves fantasy elements with real life events to create a believable world and a very likeable heroine The supporting characters are also well drawn and a twist in the end shows that Flossie is not the only young ghost brave enough to fight for what is right Reviewed by Penny Guy Bookrapt

  5. says:

    For fans of middle grade ghostly fiction

  6. says:

    It's December 1940 and London is being bombed night after night by the German Luftwaffe In Highgate Cemetery however the souls who are buried there are for the most part at peace thanks to Flossie Birdwhistle 12 Flossie had died of rheumatic fever and now served as the turnkey or keeper of the key of Highgate It is her job to make sure everyone stays peacefully at rest there As turnkey Flossie must stay awake and can even leave the cemetery sometimes visiting the Golden Galley atop St Paul's Cathedral a tranuil place overlooking London until the war began But one December night she runs into someone else up there a man who was clearly dead and part of the spirit world though not a turnkey and dressed in the uniform of a Nazi officer and carrying a strange looking round glass object When he sees Flossie he uickly fleesConfused Flossie decides to visit her friend Ada the Turnkey of Tower Hamlets cemetery No sooner does she tell Ada what she saw than the Turnkey of Brompton Cemetery shows up with at least 100 souls dressed in the uniform of the Chelsea Pensioners The men are there because of the Blitz but are soon drawn into the mystery of the Nazi officer in the SS uniform carrying the mysterious round objectOn a uick trip to the Invalids' Cemetery in Berlin Flossie learns from the Turnkey there that the officer is part of the Ahnenerbe But what is that? Is the officer a German spy? How can that be if he's already dead? And why does he know who Flossie is?The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery is indeed a mysteryand historical fictionand a ghost story And yet it just didn't grab me until Flossie sees the SS officer on the dome of St Paul's A ghostly Nazi looking out at the bombing of London by the Luftwaffe reminded me that the the Nazi's particularly Heinrich Himmler head of the SS had been interested in finding the spiritual roots of Germanic or Aryan heritage That made this a definite game changerFlossie may only be a 12 year old protagonist but she's smart and unrelenting in her pursuit of solving the mystery of the Nazi especially after it becomes personal But she's also compassionate and cares very much about the souls at rest in Highgate as evidenced in the sub storyline about Grace a young girl injured in the Blitz who straddles life and death while trying to find her family I could have lived without Grace's story but I think it would have made a great seuel to this novelHighgate Cemetery is such a perfect setting for this story It's creepy enough to make me never want to be there at night but the spirits from all the London cemeteries are not the least bit scaryThe story does take a few unexpected turns that I didn't see coming and I liked that a lot In fact a lot of people have compared this novel to Neil Gaiman's Coraline and The Graveyard Book and I suppose they are similar in a way but I think The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery does a good job of holding its ownI also thought that Rushby did a spot on job of presenting the Blitz in all its horror and I liked Flossie's visits to the war rooms of the British and the Nazis but I think one of my favorite things was the presence of the helpful Chelsea Pensioners in their tricorn hats and bright red coats Which reminds me The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery was originally published in Britain and there may be some bits that young American readers don't not know about Some of them are covered in the Author's Note but not the Pensioners see note belowAll in all however The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery is a great novel for anyone interested in WWII fiction fans of ghost stories and those who like a really good mysteryThis book is recommended for readers age 9This book was sent to me by the publisher Candlewick PressChelsea Pensioners according to Wikipedia they are soldiers who are residents of the Royal Hospital Chelsea a retirement home for former members of the British Army

  7. says:

    Allison Rushby has turned me into a serious fan girl and I’m not slightly mad Actually I love it and would probably faint if I saw her because her books ARE THAT GOOD Rushby can do no wrong and after The Mulberry Tree I thought that nothing would compare to that beauty but upon finished The Turnkey I could see that I was mistake The Turnkey literally left me hugging the book to my chestI’ll continue my raving later butThe Turnkey is a gothic little tale based in the heart of London during the war Highgate Cemetery and those that are buried there are safe and at peace with Flossie Birdwhistle a mere girlghost of 12 who cares for them Flossie is the guardian of the cemetery known as the ‘turnkey’ One night Flossie encounters a dead Nazi officer up to no good and Flossie gives chase leading her on an adventure one could not forget‘Life continues after death’ is one of my favourite sayings and ties in with this book brilliantly I loved that this middle grade historical fiction contains ghosts and that their pure and hopeful intent stays with them in spiritual form Flossie was just adorable As a ghost you see her full of determination love and her compassion is heart wrenchingly amazingBesides Flossie the other characters of the book were creative pure and I devoured them whole I loved them all though Flossie is my little kitten and I eternally love herThe setting of the bombing of London in the midst of war is heartbreaking brutal and fascinating and the depth Rushby goes to ensure not only the details of this war in her story are on point but the harsh reality of it is daunting for any reader and yet compelling Did I mention that this is a middle grade read and the details and descriptions knock all middle grade books out of the ball park Compared to this book they do not pass go and they do not collect their hundred dollars Rushy is the almighty ueen of middle grade reads and I doubt that I would find anything that would compare I loved every word Every line Literally everything about this book and I cannot stress enough how important it is to read her work Rushby – you are the middle grade ueen

  8. says:

    A middle grade ghost story good for grades 3 6 This book had ghosts and Nazis English cemeteries and WWII It had a lot of interesting components and the writing was good but the pacing was a bit off for me I found it difficult to get into I wouldn’t hesitate to have it on my shelf for students though

  9. says:

    Fine for gr 4 6 Gave an interesting look at England during WW2 and how the people coped Themes of life and death mystery friendship and the importance of getting up again when life knocks you over

  10. says:

    This is a delightful story about a little twelve year old ghost called Flossie who is the peacekeeper of the souls in a London cemetery She has a busy and important role in settling the disputes between the cemetery inhabitants listening to their grievances and keeping their souls at peace She takes her job very seriously and along with her counterparts the other Turnkeys of the London cemeteries is vigilant in the fulfillment of her duties When a suspicious German soldier is seen in the area her suspicions are rightly aroused and the action rises as the Turnkeys must work together to save their beloved cemeteries and stop a great evil Through Flossie’s memories we learn about her own death and the impact it had on her family members and how elements from her past may affect her future At first glance you might think the setting might make this a depressing or maudlin book; however this is not the case Readers who enjoy ghostly stories or narratives set in World War II will enjoy this novel