Angel of Grasmere

NEW May 2024

“Angel of Grasmere” is my new children’s historical fiction adventure, set in the English Lakes in the Second World War.

In the darkest of days, that’s when the miracles begin …

Cover design by Tom Clohosy Cole

July 1940 – Tarn struggles to come to terms with the loss of her beloved brother in the chaos of the British retreat at Dunkirk and she and her friends scour the hills around their Westmorland home, watching for any signs of the long-dreaded Nazi invasion.

But as the war drags on, with little good news from the front, the locals become aware of someone carrying out anonymous acts of kindness.  With no one claiming credit, the village come to think of this unidentified stranger as a kind of guardian angel, but when his identity is finally revealed can Tarn come to terms with the truth…?

Published by Barrington Stoke on May 9, 2024.
Press Release here
Read Chapter 1 here 

“In this powerful new novel, Tom Palmer conveys the devastating impact of war both for those who fight on the frontlines and those who are left at home to worry and grieve. Angel of Grasmere is another brilliant example from Tom of how history can be brought vividly to life for young people today in a way that they can relate to and empathise with.” Ailsa Bathgate

A limited number of FREE Special Angel of Grasmere souvenir reader’s packs are now available, order yours here.

Buy the Book

Borrow from your local library, local independent bookshop, 
Waterstones and Amazon

Signed and dedicated copies personalised to order from Sam Read Books, Grasmere here.


Angel of Grasmere Commemoration Special film

Dunkirk Anniversary – A Commemoration Special with Mr Dilly and Tom Palmer

Catch up now here

  • Join Tom Palmer speaking on location from the beaches of Dunkirk and the Grasmere Fells
  • Interview and conversation with Mr Dilly and Tom Palmer
  • Watch footage of the Dunkirk evacuation
  • Listen to pre-recorded interviews with some of the Dunkirk veterans


Angel of Grasmere Book Launch

Catch up on the Radio Interview here

Watch the ITV report here


“Engaging. Atmospheric. Thought-provoking. Another stunning Tom Palmer. Exploring war memories, PTSD, bullying, friendship and acts of kindness.” Teresa Cremin

“Tom’s assiduous research into time and place creates a moving story of the life of friends, Tarn, Peter and Eric in the fells of wartime Cumbria.” Jane Broadis

“I am reading this book – and it is excellent.”Tom Percival

“One of our finest children’s writers.”Miranda McKearney

“Tom’s books are full of empathy and thoughtful understanding.” Anne Thompson

“Strong characters, great emotionally engaging plot and fascinating historical content woven with great skill into a fine novel telling a little known story from WW2” Nicola Davies








First Chapter


Cover Prediction Worksheet There are no wrong answers so let your imagination go wild. Download here




Playscript download here




Author’s research scrapbook below and here


Settings Map Worksheet

Identify and colour in the key aspects of physical and human geography of Grasmere village and its Lakeland surroundings where Tarn and her friends live. Download here


A Little Lakeland Nature 

Read along, spot me and colour in…

From Herdwick sheep to stiles

Download and print on to 2 sheets, cut and fold and stick to make a minibooklet here


Paper Angels to cut out and decorate with more ideas:

  • Think of an act of kindness each angel could do to make the world a better place. Write it on the back
  • Make a display of them against a backdrop of the Lake District’s mountains and lakes or make a display of them where you think your angels are most needed to help the world today

Download here 

Herdwick Sheep Craft Activity

Download full instructions here



WW2 Cumbria Quiz download here



Interview with lovereading4kids

Films – more to come


Angel of Grasmere Commemoration special film

Dunkirk Anniversary – A Commemoration Special with Mr Dilly and Tom Palmer

Catch up now here



Chapter 1

Dunkirk, the miracle

Defeat at Dunkirk

Dunkirk and the Angel of Grasmere

Story of a deserter

Dorothy Wordsworth, my inspiration

Using a ww2 historical artefact to write a story

Q&A with Tom

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about Angel of Grasmere and what first inspired you to write the book?

Tom : It is set in Cumbria – known then as the English Lakes – during WW2. I had heard that – during both wars – some men hid in the mountains to avoid going to fight. I also read that there were genuine fears the Germans could invade by parachuting and landing in gliders on the higher fells. The two things came together and I started thinking what impact that would have on children who lived there then. Angel of Grasmere is the result.

How did you find striking the balance between fact and fiction when telling the story?

Tom : Normally I am very focused on basing all scenes on actual events and on the testimony of those who experiences them. This book – although based on real events that happened – is more fictional. I’d say it’s 50/50 real/fiction. It was a lot of fun to do.

The story casts a spotlight on the experiences of ordinary Cumbrian people during the early days of World War Two. What made you want to write about here during this particular period of the war? Were there any aspects that were especially important to you to show?

Tom : As wars rage today we see on TV their impact on civilians. I think – as well as showing the horrors of war in aeroplanes, the trenches and at sea – we need to understand what war does to civilians too. I hate war. I want to show how awful it is if we allow it, don’t stop it, even cause it. Civilians are suffering around the world now and I wanted to do what I could to draw from the past so we can think about the present and maybe make a better future.

How did you go about your research for the book? What was the most interesting discovery you made?

Tom : Books, films, interviewing very old people who remember the war when they were children. Museums, hikes up mountains. I even spent one night in a tent alone on top of a mountain just so I could get a sense of what my characters might see and hear and how they would feel in such an extreme place. From all of that the most interesting thing for me was how even in a small country like ours you can walk and camp for hours and hours and not see another person and how lovely that is sometimes.


Researching and Writing Angel of Grasmere

I am very grateful to Kendal Libraries for access to their historical records and to  Grasmere School and their pupils for their help.






My writer’s diary – tweet version

Curriculum links

Battle of Britain history topic

Rivers topic

Buy Books

Signed and dedicated copies personalised to order from Sam Read Books, Grasmere here.

Australia: Boomerang

Canada: Amazon Canada
New Zealand: Wheelers

USA :  Indigo books

Visit myAmazon bookshop or support your local bookshop HIVE

Schools bumper 33 book pack offer here

33 books
£194 saving £63 – over 20% discount

Please email


Schools class set offer here.

15 copies 20%+ discount
30 copies 25%+ discount
100 copies 30% + discount


Please email for a quote


Email me here for more information or use my contact form here to ask me a question.

Thank you.

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