Children’s author delights pupils at Crompton House School, Shaw

The CROMPTON House school library came alive on Wednesday as Year 7 pupils welcomed award-winning children’s author Tom Palmer.

A hugely popular name in the world of children’s fiction, Tom has written over 50 acclaimed books, with both sports and historical themes.

Yet students were surprised to learn of Tom’s reluctance to read when he was in school, until his mother bought him a comic book on a subject he really loved: football.

During his visit, Tom encouraged young people to browse the library shelves for books on topics that interested them in order to stimulate their interest in literacy.

VISIT: Author Tom Palmer with a student

Tom said: “It’s amazing how reading can change the direction of a person’s life.

“I started reading the ‘Roy of the Rovers’ comics when I was a kid and now I’m the author of the books of the same name.

“I didn’t like to read when I was young and my mother worried about me because I had difficulties in school.

“She encouraged me to read about football in newspapers, magazines and books.

“Little by little, I learned to love books and I think it is essential that young people read books that interest them to encourage reading for pleasure.”

Tom spent the afternoon talking to students about what inspires him to write, and the research and planning process behind some of his best-known titles Over the Line, Armistice Runner, After the War, D- Day Dog and Arctic Star.

The books, inspired by the events of the world wars, are based on real-life stories, one of which deals with the subject of the Holocaust – a theme discussed at school during recent Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations.

As Tom spoke, a sea of ​​hands stretched across the room as students wanted to know the answers to questions like how long it takes him to write a book, which of his titles he would like to see made into a movie, and how long does the writers earn.

The children were delighted to meet Tom and have their books signed at the end of the day.

Jessica, a student member of Crompton House Book Council, was delighted to join the tour.

She said: “Tom was really nice – I love that he writes about things he cares about and cares about.

“I have a signed copy of ‘After the War’ and can’t wait to start reading it.

“It was interesting to hear Tom tell us how he researched the characters and spent time with real Holocaust survivors to learn more about their lives.”

Learning Zone Manager Claire Cullen, who organized the visit, “It’s hugely inspiring for our learners to meet an author like Tom in real life – an opportunity we’re even more grateful for after lockdown.

“It was such an exciting day. Tom’s visit is one of many literacy projects we are running at Crompton House, including our ‘Drop It All and Read’ initiative where staff and pupils across the school take 10 minutes a day to immerse themselves in a book.

Deputy Director and Curriculum Team Leader for English and Media, Darren Pacey, said:

“Crompton House School understands that reading is essential to ensuring our students have the best possible chance in life.

“We were delighted to welcome Tom Palmer to inspire our students to pursue their own reading journeys.”

Following the visit, Tom said: “It is clear to see the level of commitment and care from the staff at Crompton House, which in turn encourages young people to develop a love of reading for pleasure. It was a great afternoon. »

Lola R. McClure