Leeds SLS


The Barnbow Lasses

I have written a 3 part Classroom Read, set in First World War Leeds funded by Leeds School Library Service to mark Remembrance Day.

With accompanying films.

All materials are suitable for years 5-8.


Chapter 1 – download here or watch Tom reading it here.

Chapter 2 – download here or watch Tom reading it here.

Chapter 3 – download here or watch Tom reading it here.

And you can read this great blog from Amy McKinlay, P1-3 teacher at Kettins Primary School …

How to make Remembrance Day memorable in the classroom – Scottish Book Trust

Catch up on the Virtual Event

Why I wrote The Barnbow Lasses:

How I wrote The Barnbow Lasses:

Writing about Leeds:

Additional Barbow Lasses resources from Leeds City Council

1 Life in the 1900s download here

2 Oh What a Lovely War download here

3 Shells, shells and still more shells download here

4 The Trouble With Cordite download here


Thank you Leeds School Library Service for supporting this project.

And please support your local School Library Service.  Thank you!

More stories set in Leeds

Foul Play series

The Foul Play series are about  fourteen-year-olds Danny and Charlotte who solve football crimes.  It is set in Leeds and published by Puffin books. 

In the first book Foul Play, Danny stumbles across the kidnap of his favourite player and it all starts there.

Setting a story in leeds

Download here a handy guide to the real Leeds places that inspired scenes in Foul Play with ideas for class discussions.

Watch me read from Chapter 1 of Foul Play here.

Danny takes a Russian billionaire in Dead Ball .  In Off Side he takes on a corrupt football agent trafficking players and in Killer Pass, Danny tackles a burglar of footballer’s houses.  Finally, in the latest book in the series, Own Goal, Danny heads to Italy to tackle a worldwide football scam.   Email me here if you have read the whole Foul Play series and receive a special signed certificate from me.

More Foul Play literacy resources here.

Previous projects for Leeds School Library Service

14th to 18th October 2019

Celebrate the Leeds United centenary at your school with Leeds School Library Service and children’s author Tom Palmer.

Tom has written a five-part story featuring children today discovering their local history through their local team, Leeds United.  Tom visited two schools a day to read that day’s chapter and to host his famous Football Reading Game.

Chapter 1 – download here
Chapter 2 – download here
Chapter 3 – download here
Chapter 4 – download here
Chapter 5 – download here

History Activity – here
Geography Activity – here
Leeds United Readers – here 

“I just had to let you know about my class’s response to your Leeds United Centenary story. They are absolutely buzzing with excitement and came into school this morning full of theories and ideas about the ghost and the Juventus player that they had been discussing with their parents last night. After reading chapter 2 this morning, I gave them a choice of carrying on with our ICT curriculum or having time to research the history of LUFC. Guess what? LUFC won. It is the most enthusiastic I have ever seen them and just wanted you to know what impact this story is having.”  Carlton Primary School

Tom reads Chapter 1 …

Tom got into reading through his love of Leeds United, following  them in newspapers, magazines and books. Now Tom would like to use the centenary to promote his love of reading – and the club – to the next generation of local fans to kick off a second century for the club.

For a FREE signed poster pack please contact admin@tompalmer.co.uk

For more information about Leeds SLS please contact kirsty.fenn@leeds.gov.uk


Previous Leeds SLS Projects :

In 2017, Tom wrote the History Children story with pupils from schools across Leeds:

Chapter 1 with Bramley St Peter’s  Chapter 2 with Allerton CE
Chapter 3 with Wykebeck
Chapter 4 with Whitkirk Primary   
Chapter 5 with St Bartholomew’s
Chapter 6 with Rothwell Victoria
Chapter 7 with Horsforth Featherbank
Chapter 8 with Holy Rosary & St Anne’s
Chapter 9 with Fountain Primary School, Morley

Read  Chapters 1-9  Thanks for following “The History Children”!

In 2016 Leeds School Library service presented ‘Loidis Ledes  Leeds’, an exciting 5 part ghost story written by Tom Palmer especially for you.

Bringinloidisg the history of Leeds to life as part of their Reading for Pleasure offer.  

Follow the adventures of three pupils across Leeds  …  across time

Iron Age     Romans     Anglo Saxons     Vikings     Now


sls certificateYou can read the whole story in full here.  Download your certificate here.

“We have read the first four chapters and it’s really, really good. Some of our class have even tried to write the next chapters because we can’t wait!” New Bewerley Community School


Screenshot (207)Story Writing Competition 

Tom has judged all the wonderful entries to the Leeds SLS writing competition.  He wants all the children who took part to know that it was really, really hard choosing a winner.

As a result and to say thank you, he will be giving a signed copy of one of his books to the following  fantastic runners up:

Isabelle, Carlton Primary
Joe, Horsforth Newlaithes
Harriet, Thorner Primary
Emre, Moortown Primary

Second place went to Ben from Chapel Allerton Primary.  Tom will visit Ben’s school soon, where he will read out Ben’s story.  Well done Ben!

And the winner is Max from Alwoodley Primary.  Tom will also visit Max’s school in July.  Congratulations Max!

Here – as promised – is a video of Tom reading Max’s story.  He hopes he did it justice.

Everyone at Leeds School Library Service and Tom say thank you very, very much to all the schools and children for entering.

Thank you Pioneers class at Thackley Primary School for your fantastic feedback!

loidisJack said:“I love this story it’s brilliant!”

Freya said: “I like the way you have mixed together a spooky story with historical facts.”

Carter said: “I really enjoyed finding out about real information facts about Leeds.”

Emily said: “I liked listening out for the places that came up in the story that I have visited in Leeds.”


Watch Tom reading aloud  Chapter 1 here.

Watch Tom reading aloud  Chapter 2 here.

Watch Tom reading aloud  Chapter 3 here.

Watch Tom reading aloud  Chapter 4 here.

Blooper alert …  password “adeltoga”

Watch Tom reading aloud  Chapter 5 here.


leeds story logoLoidis  Ledes  Leeds is a Classroom Read suitable for pupils in years 4,  5 and 6.  More details here.

Follow the adventures of three pupils across Leeds  …  across time

Iron Age     Romans     Anglo Saxons     Vikings     Now

In Adle
In Adle
Tom researching around Leeds








Tour de Yorkshire

In 2014 I cycled to all Leeds’ libraries to talk to children about how libraries changed my life and to read a story to celebrate what libraries can do for us.



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




Download our Tour de Leeds Libraries literacy pack here:

  •  Le Grand Dēpart Reading Comprehension
  • Setting a story in Leeds – reading and writing with Tom Palmer
  • Writing a story is like riding a bike
  • Reading safety
  • English – French speaking aloud activity
  • Lizzie Armitstead’s Reading Chat Poster
  • Tom Palmer’s Reading Chat Poster
  • Our Reading Chat template
  • Bike Wheel Book Review
  • Yellow Jersey Book Review –
  • Library Treasure Hunt
  • Tour de Leeds Libraries Booklist

Opening Otley All Saints Library as part of Tour de Yorkshire

For more information about Leeds Schools Library Service click here .

Leeds For Learning_Logo incl safe area-Col