Tom Palmer: ‘Football Reading Game’ at Harrogate Children’s Festival

Tom Palmer: Football Reading Game

Making the most of a break in this summer’s relentless downpour over the weekend, my three children and I set forth to Harrogate Children’s Festival‘s Spiegeltent to meet children’s author Tom Palmer.

Tom, a die-hard Leeds fan (are there any other kind?), has combined his twin passions of football and writing to create a number of footballing books, including the Football Academy series, the Foul Play books and the recently-published The Squad.

Tom’s well-devised event was pitched at the right level for the audience of mainly under 10s and their parents. Having divided the audience into small family teams, Tom asked a handful of football related questions.  Despite his reassurances that the questions were fairly straightforward, I was still slightly concerned that my lack of football knowledge might hamper my team’s efforts. But having scored a respectable

Foul Play4/6, we were told that our points would be translated into penalty kicks with a prize for the highest-scoring penalty taker.

The children loved the physical challenge of taking the penalties after concentrating in the quiz and tension was running high in the Spiegeltent. There was much mortification in our team as the two football-mad boys failed to score and were trumped by their sister putting one in the back of the net!

Tom happily took time after the event to sign books and recommend other books that might appeal to young readers. Even though the event clashed with the Wimbledon final, the smiling faces leaving the Spiegeltent left me in no doubt that Andy Murray still has some work to do to win over these young football fans.