WW1 and WW2 author inspires pupils and 'future authors' in long-awaited visit
A popular children's author paid a visit to a Walton-le-Dale school to talk about his latest book and may have inspired some pupils to become writers one day.
Author Tom Palmer finally visited St. Patrick’s RC Primary School, on Higher Walton Road, after previous visits were postponed due to COVID.
Palmer has written more than fifty books about topics ranging from football to history and he talked to the pupils about his latest book ‘After the War’ which is based on WW1 and WW2.
The book is based on the true story of three hundred young concentration camp survivors, known as the ‘Windermere Boys’, who travelled to the Lake District 75 years ago.
The author also told the pupils how a book is written, from start to finish, including the research and planning that goes into his work.
“I was looking forward to this real school visit hugely, as COVID has limited my book tours,” Tom Palmer said.
“The children from St. Patrick’s were visibly passionate about reading and I was impressed with the quality of their questions and their drive to learn.
“I know they said they were inspired by my visit, but they don’t know how inspired I was by their enthusiasm; there are lots of future authors at St. Patrick’s!”
All of the pupils had opportunities to ask questions and have their own copies of the book signed during the author’s visit.
Palmer also visited the school’s library and gave the pupils tips on developing their writing and using historical artefacts for inspiration.
The author says he ‘wasn’t keen on reading when young’ but came to love books after his mother encouraged him to read about football.
“My mum was worried about me because I was struggling at school,” said Palmer, “She encouraged me to read about football and gradually I came to love books.”
Many of the pupils found the visit useful and plan to use Tom’s tips in their own writing.
“I found out loads of useful things to help me with my writing and so did the rest of my class,” said 9-year-old pupil Seth.
Pupil Rose, 10, said: “I wanted to write more and more as Tom showed us that anyone can be an author.”
Acting head Liz Hindley said she was ‘so grateful’ for the visit which was arranged and funded by the school’s PTA.
Mrs. Liz Hindley, Acting Headteacher, “We know from research completed by the
National Literacy Trust, that children who experience an author visit are twice as
likely to read above the expected level for the age,” she said, “so it is something that we know will make a difference.”
“Tom is the second author we have managed to squeeze in this year, despite the pandemic.
“The children (and Tom) had a wonderful day!”
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