Defenders Series

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

Seth and Nadiya specialise in solving ghostly hauntings at football venues, which take them to settings including:

  • Anglo-Saxon village, Yorkshire
  • Roman Amphitheatre, City of London
  • Iron Age Celtic hill fort, Cornwall

Book 1 –  Killing Ground
Book 2  – Dark Arena
Book 3  – Pitch Invasion

Read Chapter 1 of Killing Ground here

Published by Barrington Stoke
Illustrated by David Shepard

Buy the Books

Signed and dedicated copies are available personalised to order from my local independent children’s bookshop “The Thoughtful Spot” here.


Book 1 –  Killing Ground
Book 2  – Dark Arena
Book 3  – Pitch Invasion

“plenty of adventure, jeopardy, blood and thunder and mixing it all in with a good dollop of the country’s favourite spectator sport… There are echoes here of Alan Garner and just a hint of the mystery behind Harry Potter – and that should be enough to get anyone reading.” The Letterpress Project

“Great fast paced fiction” Monsters Can Talk

“I recommend Tom Palmer’s books as an essential addition to school libraries.”  Review of the full Defenders series in Books for Keeps here


“Tom Palmer’s new series combines football with history in a gripping, fast-paced and action-packed story that’ll have your children wanting to know more with every turn of the page. One that may be enjoyed more by slightly older readers (10+) due to the introduction of more detail, adventure and subject-specific vocabulary, this is a series not to be missed.”


And each book ties into a KS2 history theme:

Killing Ground (Vikings & Anglo Saxons) 
Dark Arena  (Roman Britain) 
Pitch Invasion  (Iron Age Celts)

“We are currently running a Books 4 Buddies scheme here at Northwood and Defenders is going down a storm with my reluctant readers.”  Northwood School


Colouring Sheet

Iron Age / Roman / Anglo Saxons / Vikings colouring sheet to accompany my Defenders series, download here . 

History Quizzes

Anglo Saxon/Viking history quiz based on Defenders: Killing Ground here

Roman Britain history quiz based on Defenders: Dark Arena here

Iron Age history quiz based on Defenders: Pitch Invasion here


Click on the images for downloadable posters:

Haunted by the past … writing tips here 

Video 1 – introduction to Killing Ground

 Video 2 – Killing Ground & my ancestry DNA testing

 Video 3 – Researching  Dark Arena

Video 4 -Researching Pitch Invasion part 1

Video 5 – Researching Pitch Invasion part 2

Blog links

Setting a story in an Iron Age Fort

2018 Live World Cup Read

Defenders:Russia Dyslexia friendly BIND UP of  all 1-22 chapters available here.

Defenders:Russia CERTIFICATE for followers here.

Defenders:Russia Tom Palmer’s Guide To How Books Are Made WORKSHEET & answers here


By Seth White on 24 Jun. 2017
‘Killing Ground’, the first in the new Defender series, is an awesome page-turner. The best bit was when the football pitch was abandoned and the massive Viking face appeared. It was a weird feeling and a bit exciting too. I love that my name was used for the books and I can’t wait to see the other stories. Seth White.

By gable_end on 16 July 2017
Killing Ground was a great, fast-paced read and I had to finish it in one sitting! The historical aspect was compelling and detailed, and I really engaged with the central character, who is a young carer. With a cream background and clear, well-spaced text, it’s an ideal read for any struggling reader, particularly those with dyslexia. Really looking forward to reading the next in the series!

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars

By Amazon Customeron 13 July 2017
I can’t wait to read this! I’ve been waiting for months for the book to come out!
Buy the Books here
Signed and dedicated copies are available personalised to order from my local independent children’s bookshop “The Thoughtful Spot” here.
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