Donald Memphis is a frequently tongue tied misfit who has only ever been awarded one certificate; and that was for successfully tying his shoe laces. However he does have ‘The Gift’ – he can see, hear and communicate with ghosts, predict the future and sometimes even read people’s minds. He inherited this gift from his mother (a medium) and it comes in handy when he sees his father (a ghost!)
In How to Speak Spook Donald helps his mother exorcise ghosts. In fact he is actually much better at it than she is, often solving a problem by talking to the ghost. One day though he finds himself on a mission which challenges all his skills. He has to try to stop a powerful spirit which is causing mayhem along the South coast. Donald finds himself crossing swords with Estella Gray (also a medium) who is suspicious of his talents and, he discovers, closely involved in the mystery surrounding this troublesome spirit herself and, it transpires, not acting in a lawful way.
There are lots of ghosts or ‘Nothings’ in this story including that of Mary Anning, the 19th-century palaeontologist. Donald is helped by his friend Merry (who is definitely not his girlfriend!) and ‘sort of friend’ Danny Olini (the most annoying person Merry has ever known) and protected by a guardian angel; the ghost of a dog called Bear who appears at times of mortal danger.
The narrative moves at a fast pace in this ghost-busting adventure story. Tension builds as the danger increases and the mystery deepens. There is warmth and sensitivity in Danny’s relationship with his ghostly father and more than a touch of playground humour.