Tom Palmer, the acclaimed children’s sports fiction author, is set to make a visit to Bradford Libraries next week to encourage and promote reading for pleasure as part of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

The celebrated author will grace two libraries in the Bradford district as part of his nationwide tour, covering a total of 20 public libraries across the country. The highly-anticipated event will take place at City Library and Manningham Library on Wednesday, 26th July.

The highlight of the visit will be the exciting penalty shootout activity, allowing children to engage in sports-themed reading fun. Additionally, Tom will conduct an enthralling quiz centred around reading for pleasure with a focus on sports literature.

To accommodate the young readers’ excitement, three sessions have been scheduled for the day. The first two sessions will be held at City Library at 11 am and 1 pm, respectively. The third session will take place at Manningham Library at 3:30 pm.

The events are tailored for children aged between 8 and 12 years old, making them an ideal opportunity for young sports enthusiasts to discover the joy of reading. Due to the anticipated popularity, booking for these sessions is essential. Interested participants can secure their spots by contacting City Library at 01274 433600 or Manningham Library at 01274 435353. Alternatively, bookings can be made in person by visiting the respective libraries.

For Tom Palmer, libraries and sports hold a special place in his heart. The acclaimed author revealed that he faced difficulties with reading during his childhood. However, his passion for books was ignited when he began borrowing sports fiction, non-fiction, and biographies from public libraries.

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge in public libraries, aptly named “Ready Set Read,” aims to inspire children to embrace reading through the lens of sports.

With the Women’s World Cup in full swing during his nationwide tour, Tom Palmer stands out as one of the UK’s leading children’s sports fiction writers. His exceptional literary talent has earned him an impressive collection of accolades, including 25 regional and four national book awards for his captivating works of fiction.

Of particular note is Tom’s dedication to portraying strong female characters in his books, where the main protagonists are young girls who excel in sports. Some of his renowned works featuring such characters include the Rocky Race series, which follows the exploits of Roy of the Rovers’ sister, and the gripping novels “Secret FC” and “Armistice Runner,” which chronicle the journey of a female fell runner.

The upcoming visit of Tom Palmer to Bradford Libraries promises to be an exciting and educational event, inspiring young minds to embark on a lifelong journey of reading and enjoyment through the fascinating world of sports fiction.

Tom said: “During a World Cup football and Ashes summer and in advance of a Rugby World Cup – I think it is a great time to encourage children to read through their love of sport.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby said: “These sessions are a fantastic opportunity for children in our district to meet the author of some wonderful children’s books as part of the Summer Reading Challenge.”

To find out more about Tom’s books please visit

“Tom Palmer is definitely in the premier league of children’s authors with an impressive back catalogue of soccer stories.” Mumsnet

“Tom Palmer is a true reading hero and has been responsible for motivating many thousands of young people to get into books” Booktrust