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The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery

di Allison Rushby

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4513444,815 (3.69)4
Twelve-year-old Flossie is no ordinary ghost -- she's the caretaker of every soul in Highgate Cemetery. And during World War II, even the ghosts aren't safe. Flossie Birdwhistle is the Turnkey at London's Highgate Cemetery. As Turnkey, it's Flossie's job to ensure that all the souls buried in the cemetery stay at rest. Not an easy job for a young ghost, but a task made especially difficult by World War II: London is being attacked every night by enemy bombers, and even the dead are unsettled. When Flossie encounters the ghost of a German soldier carrying a mysterious object that seems to exist in both the living and spirit worlds, she becomes suspicious -- what is the officer up to? Before long, Flossie uncovers a sinister plot that could destroy not only her cemetery, but also her beloved country. Can Flossie and her ghostly friends stop the soldier before it's too late? History collides with the supernatural in this exciting, ethereal mystery from Allison Rushby.… (altro)
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A curious read about the keepers of our spirit's comfort at life's end set amidst WWII as the evil powers that be try to bridge the world of twilights and the living for nefarious purposes...

Can you just imagine? WHAT IF the Hitler regime had been able to accomplish what is being attempted in this book? I mean, the effects would have been devastating on such another level, I can't even begin to envision it...and yet, it is said he did have an obsession or sorts with the occult, and supernatural interests. *shivers* Sorry, but no one should have so much power, especially with that much hatred in their heart, but I digress...this book isn't JUST about the war and what COULD have been. It's about the enumerable souls left behind in the rubble, those that passed from natural causes and those "helped along" by the tragedies occurring all around them, and where they all fit in. A phrase repeated much was that it wasn't their war...it was for the living and they were beyond that world's reach for all intents and purposes. Thing is once the soldier appeared, all bets were off and choosing inaction would leave ghostly blood on their hands regardless of who would or would not see it. Flossie may have been an unusual pick for a turnkey, but she was without a doubt chosen, and with good reason. Despite her lack of years, she's knowledgeable, dependable, compassionate, and determined. She faces down ghosts from her own past, conquers unanswered questions that left fear in her formerly beating heart, and manages to keep the faith and stand strong when everything seems to be crumbling to the ground.

In the end, there was so much learned and so many miles of the heart covered, showing us that looks can be deceiving, not all lost can be saved, and sometimes the greatest thing we can give is ourselves. A great pick for Historical Fiction fans as well as the Middle Grade set. The use of a younger soul to guide the way makes it more approachable, while her lack of confidence makes her seem more human. After all, we aren't all born with a backbone of steel...but it doesn't mean we can't accomplish great things in this life...or even perhaps in the after.


**copy received for review ( )
  GRgenius | Sep 15, 2019 |
Questa recensione è stata scritta per Recensori in anteprima di LibraryThing.
I am unsure how to explain how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I really enjoyed the concept of the book -- a young girl serving as turnkey of a cemetery, struggling to understand what is happening around her. Furthermore, I generally enjoy books set during WWII or books that deal with these topics. Unfortunately, I found the beginning of the very slow. The action of the book dragged and that hindered my enjoyment of the book overall. ( )
  MelTorq | Aug 1, 2019 |
Questa recensione è stata scritta per Recensori in anteprima di LibraryThing.
The 'Magnificent Seven' cemeteries in London each have a Turnkey, someone who has passed away who is in charge of protecting those who have passed on (or are trying to). Flossie, 12 years old when she died of rheumatic fever, is now Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery and must protect her charges in the chaotic era of WWII. On the course of her rounds, she spies a Nazi. A Nazi who can travel between the worlds of life and death. He has a BIG plan. And Flossie is the only one who can stop him.

Opinion for the age group written for - I can see how kids would like this book. It's a tiny bit spooky, has WWII in it which seems to go over well, and a child heroine who is the only one who can save the day. It's cute enough, nothing particularly offensive, the language is simplistic enough, fairly fast paced story. Can see that this would go over quite well from anywhere from 8-12 year olds. A fun mix of supernatural mystery and historical fiction.

Personal opinion - I couldn't get over was the crystal skull element. A crystal skull was used by the Nazi officer to communicate between the living and spirit world. I couldn't think of anything other than Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Even archaeologists were thrown in there. This detour wasn't necessary. It could have been a candy wrapper and served the same function. I'm not sure how many kids understand the significance of it being a crystal skull, that they know the lore of the ones in museums. It just seemed like the it was unnecessary. I wanted to know the story of how they got the skull. There was basically a 2 page exposition in the middle of the book. That story would be just as fascinating - if not more than the one we got. Maybe if you don't know about the skulls it's a random object, but that was incredibly distracting to me. A short chapter talking to an archaeologist stating, 'Yeah, we found it and were looking for all the mythical treasures like the Ark of the Covenant - Now back to the story". I wanted to know THAT story. That sounds fascinating. It would have been much better if the object was random and it was just a spiritual object they found.

I had a bit of trouble determining what the atmosphere of the book was supposed to be. It had ghosts, but it wasn't really spooky. It was set in WWII, so historical, but the mannerisms and language made it seem like it was present day. It was a mystery, but while the mystery seemed pressing in the sense that you knew they had to stop the Nazi, but Flossie kept taking side trips to visit a dying girl and try to help her. So was the Nazi really pressing then? It was an adventure because Flossie was traveling all over the place, but what would have been the most exciting adventure (finding the skull), wasn't included. By the end of the book, I don't think I could place the genre of this book.

Generally enjoyable book. Kids in this age group will find it a fun past paced adventure. I imagine many will be able to put themselves in Flossie's shoes. I just wish it either went further and fleshed it out a bit more or decided what kind of book it wanted to be. ( )
  mandymarie20 | Jan 14, 2019 |
Questa recensione è stata scritta per Recensori in anteprima di LibraryThing.
I was excited to receive this book in an exchange for a review. The description was intriguing. I received this book in October, and quickly lost interest. I did not finish it until December. I forced myself to read it, so that I could give an honest review.

The overall problem with this book, is that the author does not 'show the reader' what is happening. The author does a lot of 'telling'. It was like reading a well-written essay, or a book report. There was nothing technically wrong with the writing, but it was not engaging enough to draw me into the story. Due to this, I did not care about any of the characters at all.

There were some paragraphs where the author did a fair job at 'showing' the reader. The light from the crystal skulls, and the moonlight at the altar, were descriptive enough that I felt like I was there.

The plot was okay. It was mostly predictable, except I expected Grace to take the job that Elke took on at the very end.

Some of the characters seemed unnecessary. The Guides, or the "magnificant seven", played a very small role in the story. Also, Amelia didn't do anything to help move the plot along. She had no purpose.

I did love the setting, and the idea of the story. Cemeteries, ghosts, evil Nazis, war, crystal skulls - that's all right up my alley. It's a shame I couldn't care about the characters. ( )
  glanecia | Dec 30, 2018 |
Flossie is 12 years old. She's been the turnkey of Highgate Cemetery for quite 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 quite enjoyed it, although it took me some time to get into the story. I am sure children/middle graders, who have a basic knowledge of what happened during WW II, will like it a bit more than I did. ( )
  JulesGDSide | Nov 29, 2018 |
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For Isabelle Rushby
10/17/1918 - 11/20/2014
who, like Grace,
for a while
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Flossie lowered the book she was reading as she felt the girl awaken from rest and leave her grave.
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Twelve-year-old Flossie is no ordinary ghost -- she's the caretaker of every soul in Highgate Cemetery. And during World War II, even the ghosts aren't safe. Flossie Birdwhistle is the Turnkey at London's Highgate Cemetery. As Turnkey, it's Flossie's job to ensure that all the souls buried in the cemetery stay at rest. Not an easy job for a young ghost, but a task made especially difficult by World War II: London is being attacked every night by enemy bombers, and even the dead are unsettled. When Flossie encounters the ghost of a German soldier carrying a mysterious object that seems to exist in both the living and spirit worlds, she becomes suspicious -- what is the officer up to? Before long, Flossie uncovers a sinister plot that could destroy not only her cemetery, but also her beloved country. Can Flossie and her ghostly friends stop the soldier before it's too late? History collides with the supernatural in this exciting, ethereal mystery from Allison Rushby.

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