Reading Force takes award-winning author Tom Palmer into Alderwood Senior School to inspire pupils

Tom Palmer, the author of 57 children’s books and winner of six literary awards, spent Friday 12 May at Alderwood Senior School in Aldershot talking to Y7 and Y8 pupils from Alderwood and guests from Talavera Junior School and Heath End School.

Palmer has won six literary awards for his football, rugby, and historical novels and has been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award (2009). He has just been nominated for the Young Quills Award for Resist, his book which shines a light on the Dutch resistance in WWII and which was inspired by Audrey Hepburn.

Reading Force, the shared reading charity for serving and ex-serving Forces families, have worked with Tom Palmer before.

“He is one of our very favourite authors to take into schools because he is so inspiring when it comes to reading and writing – Tom opens up the world of books to children and young people in the most positive way, even to those who think – for whatever reason – that reading isn’t really for them.” Hattie Gordon, Reading Force

Alderwood Senior School, which has a number of Forces children and young people, and Sarah Magee, Senior Community Development Worker, were keen to hold a special author event because of the tumultuous few years children and young people have had due to the pandemic.

“Many thanks to Tom Palmer and Reading Force for putting together such a fantastic author event. The young people we really engaged, the children are still talking about it, and some have been to Waterstones over the weekend and made a point to hunt down more of his books. Once again thank you Reading Force for everything you do for service pupils and the opportunity this offers them, especially during difficult times when money is tight and new books are a low priority. For some of our young people this is the first time they have received a brand new book.” Sarah Magee, Army Welfare Service

Reading Force gave each Armed Forces pupil a signed Tom Palmer book and a special Reading Force teen journal for Forces children and young people.

The event was attended by Lt Col Andrew Goldsmith, Commanding Officer Army Welfare Service, Cllr John Marsh, Mayor of Rushmoor Borough Council, and Natasha Reneaux, BFBS Aldershot.

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