UK and International School Specialists
Working with over 5000 schools in the UK
Over 800 International Schools in more than 65 countries.
Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer

All About Tom Palmer

I am a children’s author based in England. I’ve had 42 books published. Many of my books are set in the world of football and rugby and I blend them in with familiar genres, such as detective, spies, ghost and history. In fact, in the last two or three years, history has become a large part of my writing. I’ve written books set in the Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, Viking, WW1 and WW2 periods. I’m published by Puffin and Barrington Stoke, amongst others.

I was a very reluctant reader when I was young and try in both my books and talks – to emphasise how books and magazines and other reading can empower the reader. My mum used reading about sport in newspapers, magazines and books to encourage me to read. It worked. Now I try to replicate what she did for me.

I’ve won the Solihull and Leicester children’s book awards and been shortlisted for a few more, including the Blue Peter Book Award.

Tom’s Author Visits


When I work in schools I normally deliver three Football Reading Games, a quiz about reading (football material and not football material). Each child that gets a question right qualifies to take a penalty. We have a penalty shoot-out. The winner receives a small trophy. The game is fun, competitive and engaging. But, in addition, it allows me to talk about how I write and research, how I warmed to reading through my hobbies and I allow children to tell each other what they like to read.

I can also deliver rugby versions of this game and can run reading and writing workshops based around the historical periods mentioned above. I bring replica artefacts into schools to help stimulate these sessions.

These sessions work best with KS2 and KS3 children, but I be flexible and adapt something for children a little younger and a little older. I can work with between 30 and 300 children in each session. If the school can provide indoor goalposts, it helps. But I do have my own that I can bring with me.

Tom’s Books

Boys United  Book one of my six-book Football Academy series, set and researched in a Premier League football academy for under 12s.


Foul Play – Book one of a series about a boy and girl who solve crimes in the world of football. From kidnapped players to murdered managers.


Over the Line – The true story of the WW1 Football Battalion. Top flight footballers going to fight in the trenches, weaving together the stories of those who came back and those who did not.


Combat Zone – The son of a British Forces father is sent to a school where he is encouraged to play rugby. He discovers he has a real talent for it. Book one of a series of three.


Killing Ground – A haunting at a football stadium draws Seth and Nadiya. They must investigate the haunting, then confront it. Features Viking and Saxon ghosts. Book one of a series of three KS2 history stories.


Reviews and Recommendations

“Tom Palmer’s Foul Play is an excellent fast-paced detective novel” The Times

“Tom Palmer’s Over the Line deserves to sit alongside War Horse and Private Peaceful on any school bookshelf.” Helena Pielichaty

“Tom Palmer’s Defender’s Killing Ground has plenty of adventure, jeopardy, blood and thunder and mixing it all in with a good dollop of the country’s favourite spectator sport… There are echoes here of Alan Garner and just a hint of the mystery behind Harry Potter – and that should be enough to get anyone reading.” The Letterpress Project

and three about my events
“The impact of last year’s visit by Tom Palmer was massive and has really helped us develop reading with our current year 4-6 group. In reading surveys and discussions your books always get a mention and are still read by a lot of the year group.” Green Lane Primary School

“There is no doubt that Tom Palmer has a Growth Mindset!” Reigate St Mary’s

“Tom Palmer is a true reading hero and has been responsible for motivating many thousands of young people to get into books” Booktrust

To make a booking

To make an enquiry about Tom, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at