Thursday 20 September 2018

Armistice Runner by Tom Palmer September Book of the Month

History, it is all around us and whether we know it or not, we are always learning new things about the past however some children are reluctant in their learning, perhaps not enjoying this subject so much at school and they need something that will give them that thirst for finding out about events gone by that could even inspire them for their own future endeavours. 

And this is where I think books certainly help and what Tom Palmer has managed to do in his latest story Armistice Runner is combine historical fiction into a modern tale and gets younger readers celebrating the unsung heroes of WWI just in time for the Armistice Centenary.


Lily has a lot of worries. She's struggling to compete in her fell-running races and, worse, she's losing her gran to Alzheimer's. But then she discovers her great-great grandfather's diaries from the First World War. Could his incredible story of bravery help her reconnect with her gran and even give her the inspiration she needs to push through and win?

The story begins with Lily seemingly in a race with other pupils, one minute she's winning and the next she has lost all concentration and no matter how hard she tries to catch up, she just can't pull it back. A lesson to be learned there, you win some, you lose some but it's what you do after that really matters.

And already a big plus is that one of the main characters is female. In tales of war it tends to be more male dominated so this book takes steps to make this sort of genre appeal to all genders.

Then on a subsequent visit to her grandparents' house in the Lakes, and in the run up to the next very important race, Lily is given a box containing some of  her great-great grandfather Ernest's things. In the box are some running logs which, Lily discovers, contain much more than just details of her great-great-grandfather's exercise regime: she discovers a commentary of Ernest's time in France and she's desperate to find out what happens.

This is a very cleverly written book as two stories seem to run in parallel alongside each other with similar themes including those of family, friendship and not forgetting rivalry!

What appeals to me about this books is that both stories seem just as believable and the details of what Tom describes are fantastic, as a reader I was able to vividly imagine everything that he was talking about, even thinking about certain smells that he mentions.

I could see this as a great tool to use in schools, not only for history but for English too. There is such a depth to this tale that you'd be hard pressed to not find something you like about it. 

There is not just one reason why I have picked this as my book of the month. Armistice Runner is both powerful and poignant. Showing just how strong the written word can be, Tom Palmer gives out messages of bravery and of perseverance and gives a fresh outlook on World War I, provoking people to think about their own families heritage and remembrance. 

A must read!


  1. THis books sounds great and I think I'd really enjoy it. How I wish I could be given diaries from a great-great grandparent, it would be wonderful to read through them!

  2. This sounds like just the sort of book my daughter and I would like. What age would you say it is suitable for?

  3. This sounds a lovely tale. Think I'd like to read it myself and I'm sure son2 would enjoy it too

  4. This sounds like an entertaining story to introduce children to history. What age do you think it is suitable for?


  5. I absolutely love the sound of this book. I think it may be a bit old for Izzie at the moment but I will hopefully remember it as one to come back to :) #readwithme


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