Free Reads

NEW Live Story

I will be writing a 2018 World Cup live story for schools with the National Literacy Trust.   Please let us know if you would like the first chapter in advance and a reminder when it starts by emailing “World Cup Reminder”  to

Tom Palmer Reading Foul Play
Tom Palmer reading Foul Play

Watch my live reading from Foul Play at Oldham Academy North here.  For more videos click here.

Click on the covers below to try first chapters of my books or s croll down for exclusive on-line Foul Play and Football Academy stories.

NEW Defenders series 2017

Spine-tingling, spooky football adventures – the past is closer than Nadiya and Seth think.

Football Academy

Boys United cover Striking Out cover The Real Thing cover Reading the Game cover  Free Kick cover Captain Fantastic cover

Foul Play

 foul play 130 DeadBall 130  offside 130 Killer pass less spine 130 owngoal 130

Wings series

Wings-Flyboy-03  Wings-Spitfire-03  Wings-Typhoon-02

Rugby Academy

Combat Zone

Surface to air       Dead Lockedtrials

Combat Zone 
Surface to Air

The Squad

Black Op cover  White Fear cover

Other Books

Over The Line Cover  Ghost Stadium cover  Scrum! cover  Secret FC cover   

The flying Prince

Read this new story The Flying Prince, written for the RAF Museum Big Draw here.

Find out more about my role as RAF Museums Children’s Writer in Residence here.


Incredible Edible Story

Incredible Edible image

Read a pdf version of this special story, illustrated by Juliet Breese here.

PrintSee here for a list of my books  quizzed on the Accelerated Reader programme.



Call of DutyRead my short story Call of Duty about a famous footballer today having to go to war here.



These new chapter stories are here in full for you to enjoy:

6 nations fullloidis


tour de leeds

Read here the cycling story I read aloud to children across Leeds in the two weeks before the Tour de France.




case of missing trophy

Read here my cricketing mystery – The Case of the Missing Trophy and check here that you solved the case accurately.  This might be particularly interesting during the Ashes Series.




“The best time I remember from my primary school was when our teacher read the Foul Play World Cup Mystery out to us. I’ll never forget us all listening together every morning and worrying about what would happen to Danny if England won!” Kylie

The Scout

Read here a Year 3-4 short story about how Ronan and Connor from the Football Academy series came to join Premier League United.

Find out more about the National Literacy Trust.

The Character Strikes Back

Read here  a five-part Foul Play short story for Years 4, 5 and 6.

“We are reading ‘The Character Strikes Back’ this week, and SO enjoying it! They love the cliffhangers each day and beg me to read on…”

“Reading Tom Palmer’s short story ‘The Character Strikes Back’ to my Y3/4 class was as delightful an experience for me as a teacher as it was for my young listeners, who truly learned the meaning of a ‘cliff-hanger’. Writhing in a delightful agony of suspense and anticipation at the end of each day, their desperation to find out what happened next informed many discussions and some marvellous predictions. Parents even called the school to find where they could buy the book their children couldn’t stop talking about!” Catherine Monaghan, Y3/4 Teacher, Middleham CE VA School

Maybe Football is Exciting – Charlotte’s Diary

Read here  a Year 6,7 and 8 short Foul Play story written for the National Literacy Trust.

“I just finished reading the Danny Harte story online (I read it all at once because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next) I really really enjoyed it!! Thanks” Sophie

squad logo

Read my special Squad story Black and White Op written to celebrate the launch of The Squad series for Newcastle Libraries here.


Foul Play World Cup Mystery
Foul Play: The World Cup Mystery

To celebrate the World Cup in 2010 and 2014, The National Literacy Trust commissioned two Foul Play stories.  A very big thank you to the tens of thousands of children who listened to their teachers read the story every day in their classrooms. 

Read Foul Play : Brazil 2014 in full here.

Read Foul Play : South Africa 2010 in full here.

“Hi My name is Lucy Bakewell, librarian at Hill West Primary School, and I have been downloading Tom’s fantastic episodic story from the Literacy Trust website. I just wanted to drop him a line to tell him how brilliantly his story is going down at our school. Every morning I have children, particularly the boys, running up to me to check that I have downloaded and printed out the latest chapter of the story. The feedback from all the teachers is really positive, they tell me that it has really captured the boys imaginations and is encouraging them to read too!Please pass on my comments, congratulations and continued success.” Lucy Bakewell, SLA School Librarian of the Year


British Council logoThe Mystery of the Stolen FA Cup Medal

Commissioned by the British Council and Reading Agency’s ‘Chatterbooks’ project.  With classroom resources.  Read and listen to the story here.

More Literacy resources for all my other books are here.

Children's Author