On Wednesday, we were delighted to welcome author Tom Palmer into school. Tom wrote After the War, a book set in the summer of 1945 following the end of the Second World War. It follows Yossi, Ben and Mordecai who are among three hundred children who have arrived in the English Lake District, after having survived a concentration camp. The story follows the three boys as they recover.

Our year 7 pupils read the book over the summer holidays and completed a variety of interesting activities connected to the book. Tom delivered a lively and engaging talk to all of our year 7 pupils, giving them fascinating insight into his life and work as an author. He began by focussing on his own journey to becoming a writer.  He spoke about how he was a reluctant reader as a child, so his mum encouraged him by buying Roy of the Rovers comics and Shoot magazine for him as he was a football fan.

Tom talked about how he started writing and how it is easier to write about topics you are passionate about. Tom has written sixty books for children, featuring spies, history, the RAF, ghosts, detectives, war, football and rugby.

Our pupils were eager to find out more about Tom’s life as an author, asking intelligent and thoughtful questions. It was interesting to learn about how Tom researched his book After the War, travelling across Europe to visit Auschwitz, visiting the villages where the survivors came from, as well as visiting and working with the historians based at the Lake District Holocaust Project, a charity dedicated to telling the extraordinary and poignant story of 300 young Jewish Holocaust survivors who stayed in Cumbria in 1945. Tom brought in his scrap books and plans, talking about the writing process, from ordering his notes to editing, rewriting and, in the case of After the War, sharing drafts with historians and families of the survivors to ensure accuracy. 

Congratulations to the pupils who were awarded with a certificate of achievement and a prize for completing their summer activity packs to such a high standard. Mrs Parkinson, Head of Year 7, said that it was a very difficult decision as she could see that so many pupils had spent so much time completing the packs. 

After the talk, Tom signed copies of his book in the library and chatted to pupils, before running a session with some of our year 7 pupils.

Many thanks to Tom for giving us an insight into his work, we really enjoyed it.