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Tom Palmer

An author known for his football stories for children including Foul Play (shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award), Tom Palmer’s stories appeal to reluctant readers as they combine sports like soccer, rugby and cricket with mysteries and crime.

Tom lives in Yorkshire and runs activities that encourage children to read through their love of football. Hs has written over 40 books including the Football Academy and Rugby Academy series and has been the writer-in-residence for the RAF museums as many of his books feature force families.


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Tom Palmer Books

  • D-Day Dog

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BXGHP
    Paperback
    Jack can't wait for the school trip to the D-Day landing beaches. It's his chance to learn more about the war heroes he has always admired - brave men like his dad, who is a reserve soldier. But when his dad is called up to action and things at home spiral out of control, everything Jack believes about war is thrown into question. Finding comfort only in the presence of his loyal dog, Finn, Jack is drawn to the heart-wrenching true story of one particular D-Day paratrooper. On 6 June 1944, Emile Corteil parachuted into France with his dog, Glen - and Jack is determined to discover their fate ...
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  • Rugby Academy: Combat Zone

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: ALHPF
    Paperback
    First title in a rugby trilogy. Borderlands is no ordinary school - all of the students boarding there have parents in the armed forces, and the UK is drawing perilously close to war in the Middle East. New boy Woody is desperate to escape the school and find his way to his dad's military base, but his dad has been mobilised. He's gone. Worried and unhappy, Woody turns to the only thing that could help get him through - rugby. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+
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  • The Squad: Black Op

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BUAKX
    Paperback
    The Squad - kickass teenage spies with the perfect cover. They are also part of an England youth football team. Wherever trouble is kicking off, the Squad are sent in. They're more than a match for any kind of enemy. In the first book in this exciting new series from Foul Play author Tom Palmer, the Squad are sent to Krakow, Poland just before the Euro 2012 tournament there.
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  • Over the Line

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: ATHVF
    Paperback
    It's 1914 and Jack is making his debut as a pro footballer. But his first match is marred by a demonstration demanding that the teams sign up to do their duty in France. Word of the Footballer's Battalion and a cup in Flanders provides a glimmer of hope that Jack can keep his dream of playing for England alive. But as the war drags on, Jack is thrown into a nightmare world he will be lucky to survive.
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  • Rugby Academy: Deadlocked

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BACMO
    Paperback
    Final title in a rugby trilogy. The Borderlands team has made it to the World Championships in New Zealand, but the strain of divisions within the squad and worry for their Forces parents' safety have the boys well and truly rattled. Can they pull it together and bring the trophy home? A sporting story set against the backdrop of war and the effect of conflict on the families of those serving overseas. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+
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  • Football Academy

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BHVWW
    Paperback 7 years +
    Ben is at his happiest playing for United and is getting top marks from the coach. But every day at school is a trial for Ben, as he struggles to hide a huge secret from his teachers and classmates. Ben's secret is starting to affect his game - can he swallow his pride and ask for help before he sidelines himself - for good?
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  • Killing Ground: Defenders

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: AWQ2
    Paperback 9 years +
    Hand-picked favourites
    Everyone is freaked out when circles of scorched earth start appearing in Halifax - on the moors, the parks and even the football pitches. Seth is most disturbed of all - he sees the shadows of the past. But when he looks into a Viking's murderous eyes and smells the stink of burning flesh, Seth knows he must stop this cycle of supernatural suffering. With his friend Nadiya, can he discover the dark history behind the forces attacking their town?
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  • Rugby Academy

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BXZPE
    Paperback
    Borderlands First XV have their sights set on becoming the best school rugby team in the world. But while the boys focus on their matches, many of their parents are serving overseas in the armed forces, and everyone is worried as conflict grows in the Central Asian Republic. New pupil Woody is a footballer by nature and must decide if he's prepared to give rugby his all. Rory feels like he's losing his focus, distracted by thoughts of his parents in danger. And Owen finds himself a t the centre when conflict breaks out within the team. With so many hurdles to face along the way, how far will they get in the rigorous schools' tournament?
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  • Roy of the Rovers

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BUGEZ
    Paperback
    The second instalment of the brand new series of illustrated middle grade fiction titles starring Roy of the Rovers, the classic British children's football hero rebooted for the 21st century! Roy Race has it all: all the skill, all the talent, and all the eyes on him now he's broken into the Melchester Rovers first team at only 16 years old. Except, of course, there's more to life than football. His dad's in a wheelchair and needs looking after, his mum is working all hours, and his sister? His sister wants to play football too, and she won't leave Roy alone until he helps her do something about it... Join us for amazing scenes, incredible tekkers, and all the thrills, sprills and drama of football! The new era of Roy of the Rovers continues!
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  • Foul Play: Off Side

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BUAPE
    Paperback
    When Danny Harte finds out there's been an anonymous foreign buy-out of his favourite club, City, he's furious - the fans were about to buy it themselves. The club is being secretive and Danny is determined to find out what's going on - until he's caught staking out the club by the police and cautioned. His parents are furious, and his friends too. No one is talking to him. But when Danny discovers Adam, a kid from Ghana, dumped by his agent who'd promised him a place as a junior at City, and lost in a foreign country he knows nothing about, Danny realizes there are worse ways of being alone. He decides to take Adam's story to the press - with terrifying consequences for them both . . .
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  • Secret Fc

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BNHLC
    Paperback
    Lily, Zack and Khal can't believe it when the new headmaster at their school bans football in the playground. What are a gang of football-mad kids meant to do at break-time now? Then Zack has a brilliant plan and a very secret football club is formed...Light-hearted and uplifting, this tale of football-underdogs-with-a-twist is lots of fun.
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  • Football Academy: The Real Thing

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BUAOT
    Paperback
    United's under-twelves are in Poland for a tournament. Goal-keeper Tomasz is very excited to be playing in his home country, but team captain Ryan thinks Poland are rubbish - in fact, he thinks everything Polish is rubbish. Ryan's behaviour causes trouble both on and off the pitch. Can Ryan and Tomasz tackle their differences - or will Ryan's bullying foul United's chance of success?
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  • Roy Of The Rovers

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BRYNE
    Paperback
    Times are tough for Melchester Rovers. Languishing at the bottom of League Two, the once-proud powerhouse of British football is out of money and out of luck. Sixteen-year-old Roy Race always dreamt of playing up front for Rovers. Oozing with natural talent and possessing a powerful left foot, Roy may just be the answer to all of Melchester's prayers. Can Roy break into the Rovers first team and bring back the glory days of old? Or will the pressure of problems on and off the pitch prove too much for the young prospect? The epic footballing saga begins here!
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  • Roy of the Rovers: Playoffs (Fiction 3)

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BXMGQ
    Paperback
    The third instalment of the brand new series of illustrated middle grade fiction titles starring Roy of the Rovers, the classic British children's football hero rebooted for the 21st century! Crunch time for Rovers: the end of the season is here, the club is in deep trouble, and it's down to Roy to bring a bit of hope back to the Melchester faithful. The new era of Roy of the Rovers continues!
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  • Spitfire

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: AYZMC
    Paperback
    Greg is only happy when he's active - on the pitch or on his phone, it doesn't matter. But as soon as training's over or his host parent Steve takes the phone away, he's on edge. Steve suggests that Greg do something quiet with him, like making one of Steve's beloved Airfix kits. And the next thing Greg knows, he's in the cockpit of a Spitfire, being forced out of the sky by a German pilot! Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+
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  • Gus the Famous Football Cat

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BPNVS
    Paperback
    A funny and heartwarming story about a girl and her pet cat, who becomes a World Cup celebrity! There's a football challenge at Yusra's school and everyone wants to win. Which class can find the best way to predict England's World Cup results? Yusra has an idea - her pet cat Gus could help! As Gus keeps guessing the scores right, the word spreads and soon everyone wants a piece of the famous football cat. But is the life of a celebrity as purrfect as it seems? The Reading Ladder series helps children to enjoy learning to read. It features well-loved authors, classic characters and favourite topics, so that children will find something to excite and engage them in every title they pick up. It's the first step towards a lasting love of reading. Level 3 Reading Ladder titles are perfect for fluent readers who are beginning to read exciting, challenging stories independently. Varied sentences Detailed illustrations to enjoy Chapters Interesting characters and themes A rich range of vocabulary More complex storylines to stretch confident readers All Reading Ladder titles are developed with a leading literacy consultant, making them perfect for use in schools and for parents keen to support their children's reading. Book Band: Lime
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  • Dark Arena

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BGSLD
    Paperback
    It's meant to be a stress-free holiday in London, but suddenly Seth and Nadiya will need all their skills asDefenders. Ghostly activity is threatening a Premier League club as they build a new stadium on Roman ruins.One worker has already met a grisly death - and many other lives are in danger. The horror of modern injusticeseems to have woken the spirits of the past ...What can the Defenders do to change things?Action-packed follow-up to Killing Ground in the Defenders series.
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  • Ghost Stadium

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: BCMNQ
    Paperback
    A thrilling ghost story from the author of the popular Football Academy series. Lucas, Irfan and Jack want to mark the beginning of their summer holidays in style! Tricking their parents with a camping cover story, the boys sneak into the old abandoned football stadium to spend the night. Are the rumours about it being haunted true? They're about to find out - Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers of 12+
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  • Flyboy

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: ARIAI
    Paperback
    Jatinder seems to be living his dream - he's training for his team's youth squad, and his host parents Steve and Esther are really great. But something's holding Jatinder back from being a really great footballer - himself. Steve reckons it's OK to take risks - look at his own hero, Hardit Singh Malik. That night Jatinder wakes up in a seriously surprising situation - flying Hardit's WWI fighter plane into enemy airspace. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+
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  • Boys United

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: AGMEJ
    Paperback 5 years +
    (1)
    Jake loves football and dreams of becoming a professional footballer. He's worried about his height though - what if he's too small for football? But on the day of his trial Jake is quick on the ball and scores - he's made it! Jake can't wait to pull on his shirt and join the team. But someone at the club wants to make his life difficult. Can Jake face up to the bullies and become man of the match again? Stay on the ball this season with the first four stories following the boys in United's under-twelves.
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  • Own Goal

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: AEOCL
    Paperback 9 years +
    Meet Danny Harte. Football fan and crime detective. Danny loves supporting his local team, City FC. So when everyone starts supporting the Italian team Forza FC, Danny is angry. His club is in jeopardy and needs their support. Danny decides to investigate the sudden popularity of the new team - starting with Forza's billionaire owner - and that's when the danger really kicks off...Can Danny uncover the sinister reasons behind Forza's success - and save City at the same time?
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  • Foul Play

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: ADPHT
    Paperback 9 years +
    Danny is obsessed with two things: football - especially City Football Club - and investigating crimes. So when England and City footballing hero Sam Roberts is reported missing the day after Danny saw him being taken, blindfolded, into the bowels of the City FC stadium late at night, he's determined to get to the bottom of it. But is Danny getting into something he can't handle?
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  • Football Academy: Free Kick

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: ADBVA
    Paperback 5 years +
    This is the fifth book in the fast-paced "Football Academy" series. James has been a junior player at United for a long time. Everyone expects him to follow in his dad's footsteps and play for England one day. But James isn't so sure. He has something he wants to do even more than football. Something that means he would have to give up football. The problem is he doesn't want to disappoint his dad. At a tournament in London, where he is pitched against Arsenal and Chelsea players, James finally makes his mind up.
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  • Scrum!

    Tom Palmer

    Product Code: ACWMR
    Paperback
    One boy, two codes - How will he decide? When Steven's mother remarries and moves down south, Steven is torn between loyalty to his dad and a relationship with his mum's new husband. Maybe even worse, he might have to leave his beloved Rugby League behind for a new Rugby Union team. A fab story from the sports master Tom Palmer.
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