Read The Turnkey by Allison Rushby Online


History and mystery wrapped in a thrilling supernatural plot, The Turnkey is perfect for kids aged 9+.Flossie 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 hammeHistory and mystery wrapped in a thrilling supernatural plot, The Turnkey is perfect for kids aged 9+.Flossie 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?...

Title : The Turnkey
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781925126921
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 246 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Turnkey Reviews

  • Figgy
    2019-05-14 07:14

    Review to come.

  • Saturday's Child
    2019-05-07 06:12

    For fans of middle grade ghostly fiction.

  • Bookrapt
    2019-05-10 05:46

    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 spy.Although 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)

  • Monica
    2019-05-16 07:44

    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.

  • Pauline
    2019-05-03 05:12

    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.

  • Kathleen Dixon
    2019-05-10 08:10

    This has been my read-at-work-in-the-tiny-bit-of-downtime book (a.k.a. "product familiarisation") for the last couple of weeks. It's a lovely mixture of ghost story and historical. Flossie died when she was 12 and was buried in Highgate Cemetery in London. Recently she has been voted Turnkey, which means she is permanently awake and has the care of all the deceased in Highgate. Right now it's the Blitz, and Flossie likes to visit St Paul's every now and then - as a Turnkey she has the ability to think herself anywhere in the world (wouldn't I love that?!). On this visit she sees a German officer there! What follows leads Flossie (and the reader) along a dangerous path to try and prevent the Germans winning the war. At the same time, she must continue to deal with the dead and dying (a nice little side story there with a girl who doesn't know whether she wants to live or die) in her own patch.Excellent fiction for children 9+.

  • A.L. Tait
    2019-04-28 02:14

    I am recommending this one everywhere. :-)

  • Julie Grasso
    2019-05-03 00:44

    Beautifully done, with just enough creep factor. I really enjoyed this one and I think kids aged 9-12 who enjoy the likes of the Graveyard Book or Coraline, will love this.

  • Mark Buxton
    2019-04-23 04:47

    My name is Flossie, and it's my responsibility to see that all of the dead in Highgate Cemetery rest in peace. Turnkeys like me are able to move throughout the world of the living just by thinking about places, but the other dead are confined to their cemeteries. Imagine my surprise when I found a twilight German SS officer atop St. Paul's Cathedral; how could he possibly be here and what was he doing? I've since discovered Viktor Brun is spying on the English army, and he's discovered a way to communicate with the living. The crystal skull he carries is the key to everything, and I've felt the evil within it. However, there's another soul inside the skull that argues with Viktor. More disturbing, I've learned Viktor knows my name, and he's the man responsible for sinking a navy ship, sending a thousand men to the bottom of the ocean, including my father. I assumed this book would be a cute story about a girl living around a cemetery, but I wasn't expecting the seriousness of the plot. The setting was in World War II London, seen through the eyes of the deceased characters. Most of them were loyal English citizens, so they were doing all they could to help their country win WW II. That was the main conflict in the book, and Brun's connection to Flossie's father added a big complication to things. Violet was a supporting character from a different cemetery, and her brother kept secrets from Flossie, which left the door open for him to do something unexpected. His secret, and the help of a seemingly insignificant character, were keys to resolving the climax. Flossie had deep compassion for all of the deceased in Highgate Cemetery, although she had self-doubts about being an effective turnkey. The role of Turnkeys and their unique abilities was the creative charm in the book. Flossie was able to freely move anywhere she wanted among the living, but she still needed to hide from Viktor whenever he was around; it was strange to picture dead spirits trying to hide. She didn't see any way to stop this cruel Nazi, but that made her character even more determined. The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery tells a wonderfully exciting adventure, and I recommend you give it a shot!

  • L-J Lacey
    2019-05-03 03:03

    Some of the girls in my grade 4/5 book club (Gobstoppers) had been asking me for a book with a female protagonist. “The Turnkey” dropped into my lap and seemed the perfect fit for the group. I was also interested in what the three boys of the group would think of it (more because of the cover, which is rather “pretty”, than because of the leading female role).I enjoyed it and I’m happy to report that the Gobstoppers did too. The plot is strong, the writing is good and the characters were adequately developed.One thing I particularly liked was that we used the novel as a starting point for discussions at book club around World War II. “The Turnkey” is set during this period and is mostly historically accurate. In fact, Allison Rushby apologises at the end of the novel for her intended inaccuracies: they were needed for the novel to progress and frankly weren’t egregious. It’s a beautiful thing when a book provides not only entertainment but also natural education and an organic discussion.I’d be happy to recommend “The Turnkey” to any 10+ child interested in action/adventure. Although set in the afterlife, the ghosts aren’t scary in the least. Beautifully done Allison Rushby.L-JThree Four Knock on the DoorIndependent Children's Bookshop

  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
    2019-05-15 04:08

    Rushby, Allison The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery, 256 pages. Candlewick, JULY 2018. $16. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G.Flossie Birdwhistle doesn’t feel adequate for her job as the turnkey of Highgate Cemetery in London because she is one of the youngest ghosts in the cemetery. But things get worse when she spies a very strange someone who seems to be straddling the line between the worlds – and in his uniform of a Nazi, whatever he is up to is definitely no good. Flossie will need all of her grit, some help, and a little luck to bear what she must do to save all of England from a supernatural enemy. If you like a good ghost story, a little bit of history, and a whole bunch of supernatural, this is a great place to go. I don’t think the historical setting will turn off students – especially since it involves World War II.EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

  • Gaby Meares
    2019-05-11 04:07

    The Turnkey is a perfect book for readers in upper primary/lower secondary school who are looking for an exciting story with a supernatural setting. Flossie is a plucky twelve year old ghost who is responsible for the souls in Highgate Cemetery in London. This is not an easy task at the best of times, but our story opens in 1940 and London is being bombed by the enemy. When Flossie spies an enemy ghost in London, she is immediately suspicious and her investigations uncover a sinister plot by the Germans that could mean the loss of the war. Can Flossie and her ghostly friends save the day?I hope Allison Rushby creates more adventures for the indomitable Flossie.

  • Bruce Gargoyle
    2019-05-05 02:10

    I received a copy of this title for review from Walker Books Australia.Ten Second Synopsis:Flossie is the Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery and holds the responsibility of ensuring that the dead of the cemetery remain peacefully at rest. When on a nighttime sojourn Flossie spots a ghostly figure in a Nazi uniform in St Paul's Cathedral, it is the beginning of a race against time to discover how and why a German ghost is in London in the middle of the Blitz.The Turnkey is a solid, original and intriguing tale that has the perfect blend of mystery, history and paranormal activity. Flossie is the Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery in London, a job which involves ensuring that the dead interred in the cemetery remain - for the most part - peacefully at rest. With the Blitz causing chaos every night, Flossie seeks solace in visiting some of the other Turnkeys in London's major cemeteries. On a midnight sojourn to St Paul's Cathedral - a favourite thinking spot - Flossie encounters a ghost who shouldn't, by the laws of the afterlife, be there (never mind that he's dressed in the uniform of a Nazi SS Officer) and is drawn into a mystery that could tip the scales of the war in favour of the Nazis.Flossie is an immediately likable character and throughout the story demonstrates her resilience, courage in adversity and compassion for those in difficult situations. The Nazi officer, who we discover has an unexpected link to Flossie herself, is suitably evil and frightening, and each of the Turnkeys that we meet has his or her own personality, quirks and in some cases, secrets. I always love books for young readers that aren't set in schools. Apart from the fact that being school-less allows the author to neatly avoid all those boring, repetitive, school-bully-based tropes, the non-school setting also makes books for young readers more accessible and interesting for grown up readers. Such was the case with The Turnkey. In fact, I kept forgetting that Flossie was meant to be twelve years old - albeit a reasonably long-dead twelve years old - such was the adult appeal of the novel. I love a good set-in-the-Blitz story also and the mix of bombed out London with the atmospheric cemeteries really worked to give a sense of the never-ending clean up and rescue operations that coloured that particular time in London's history. The pacing of this story was spot-on, with no filler material included to slow things down. Reveals came at regular intervals with just enough new information to spur the reader on to discover the next twist in the ghostly Nazi's plans. I was impressed with the way the author managed to maintain all the threads of the story without losing the quality of each along the way. By the end of the book the reader gets to experience the paranormal aspect of the Turnkeys working together (plus some patriotic and enthusiastic ghostly members of the Chelsea Pensioners Hospital), a journey into Churchill's war rooms and the war rooms of the Nazis, a glimpse into the reality of those living and dying in the rubble and shelters and hospital wards of London during the Blitz, and a fantasy element featuring ancient artifacts. None of these separate plot threads felt forced or tacked on and taken together they added greatly to the originality and atmosphere of the novel.The only thing that could have made this book better - as I say with pretty much every book, everywhere - would be pictures. I remember seeing a documentary or something on the Chelsea Pensioners and their red jackets and it would be awesome (and instructive for younger readers) to see some images of these iconic characters, as well as some images of the actual cemeteries or London during the Blitz for example. There is a little author's note at the back with some historical information and it was nice to see that the author had also consulted that seminal of cemetery-related tomes, Katherine Arnold's Necropolis: London and its Dead. **I read this ages ago and thought I was amongst a select few, but it keeps popping up as a reference authors have used for lots of fiction books that I've come across. Give it a read if you feel inclined.**I'm fairly sure that this is intended as a standalone novel but I would be interested in seeing what happens next for Flossie. Given that she's dead and doesn't have to age or experience the changes of growing up, it would be cool to see a progression of historical/fantasy/mystery novels featuring the Turnkeys of London's major cemeteries in different time periods up to the present. I'd read them, anyway! If you are a fan of historical fiction, particularly World War II fiction and you can't go past a paranormal twist I would definitely recommend hunting down The Turnkey.

  • Stephanie Ward
    2019-05-20 06:12

    With mystery and suspense, warmth and happiness in the dreariest of times, Allison Rushby has created a action-packed story with depth and emotion that will appeal to sophisticated young readers. The Turnkey is haunting in a lovely, poetic way where the dead lead a life of their own; where military persons still band together to fight for what is good and true; where a lonely girl finds solace in a returned doll; and where there is always someone watching over, even in dark, war torn times.Originally reviewed for CBCA Reading Time, the full review can be found here -

  • Camille
    2019-05-08 03:51

    This was a lovely read about a 12 year old ghost during the World War 2 London blitz. Who sets out to destroy a vengeful German spirit who wants to destroy her world and everything in it by connecting the living and twilight worlds using a crystal skull. It was unexpected but a enjoyable read just the same. I recommend it if you are looking for a quick and easy read.

  • Clint Ledbetter
    2019-05-01 06:54

    Wonderful concept and engaging story with a young girl as the heroine. You'll fall in love with Flossie Birdwhistle and her friends as they attempt to stop a war.

  • Tina
    2019-05-12 08:07

    Reviewing for Magpies

  • Michelle Smith
    2019-04-27 06:50

    Not the most sophisticated children’s book I have read. Fairly precocious.

  • Dimity Powell
    2019-05-19 06:48

    This is one of those books that takes accepted norms and forges them into new beliefs. I shall never be able to look at a small gate opening without ever thinking of it as an entrance for the Twilight ever again. Rushby's The Turnkey is an admirable look into the afterlife and how its inhabitants coexist with the living. She more than succeeds at weaving together a wartime tale involving Flossie, the 12-year-old gatekeeper of one of London's largest cemeteries and her attempts to thwart the evil intentions of a German solider who just happens to be dead, as well. This is not only a gratifying read for middle graders and above but also an interesting inference of how the second world war might have eventuated had there been more ghosts like Flossie to influence its outcome.

  • Nyah
    2019-04-23 07:09

    i love the book it is so interesting and when i read it and then its time for bed i always cant sleep because i am always wondering what is going to happen next.there are always twist and turns throughout the book and that is was Allison Rushby put in to keep the reader interesting.