A NATIONALLY-acclaimed children’s author has visited Bradford to use stories about football and World War One to get more young people reading on a regular basis.
Tom Palmer, who is writing a Euro 2016 Live Story, popped in to St Matthew's CE Primary School in Mayo Avenue to speak to pupils about the project.
The story is set at the same time as the tournament, which is being held in France, but with the characters being school pupils on a battlefield tour - flashing back to First World War soldiers.
It will include the story of England’s Football Battalion and events surrounding the Battle of the Somme, which took place in France 100 years ago.
The story is has been set up in conjunction with the National Literacy Trust, and the hope is the themes of football and war will engage boys, who still lag behind girls when it comes to reading.
On his visit to the school, Mr Palmer spoke to children about tales of his school days, football, rugby and the soccer-loving soldiers of World War One.
He explained how he came to be a successful author, even though he did not do very well at school.
The idea of the live story is that schools taking part log on to the National Literacy Trust site every day for a daily instalment of the tale, which St Matthew’s also will be doing.
During the Euro 2016 event, each class in Years 3 to 6 of the school will choose a competing country, discover facts about it and present them in an assembly.
Mr Palmer has written football themed children's stories Football Academy, Foul Play and The Squad.
Acting head teacher Kay Remmer said: “We are doing this because we want the children to have the chance to meet a real-life author. I chose Tom because he tells the story of his school life - of how he wasn't doing very well in his studies and how he hated reading until he was 17. In his early 20s he did A-levels at night school and went on to get a degree before having a book accepted for by Puffin.
“I want the children to understand that anything is possible if you put your heart into it and that reading can be 'cool'. Tom will also inspire more boys to read as his books are about sport and soldiers. My view is that it doesn't matter what you read, just so long as you read something which interests you. The more you read, the greater impact it will have on your life.”