Tom's books are all about football - but his Football Detective series is also about social issues that impact on children - and his latest is no exception. Off Side will be partly about chocolate, partly about the allure of the world of football, plus a strong message about Fairtrade! When Tom’s wife contacted Divine, we thought it sounded like a great theme and were really happy to help.
Charlotte put him in touch with Kuapa Kokoo, who organised a special trip to a school and cocoa farm in Akomadan village. His previous works include Foul Play and Football Academy, and his latest book, Dead Ball, will be launching this week - a perfect holiday read for bored teens! This is Tom's fantastic diary of his travels and the people he met in Accra, Kumasi and Akomadan cocoa farming village. We hope you enjoy reading about his adventures in Ghana as much as we have!
Tom Palmer’s diary
Friday 17 July, 4pm
I am above the Sahara Desert on my way to Ghana, travelling there to research a novel for children. Off Side will be about football, people trafficking and fair trade chocolate. The Sahara goes on for hours, even in a plane. Hours of sand and heat and nothingness. In 1998 I walked through the Sahara. Some of it, anyway. I was doing a charity walk for Macmillan Cancer Support. Raising money for the charity that had helped look after my parents when they were dying. I met my wife on that walk. And my wife is behind me being out here again. On this plane. To give you more detail about the book I’m writing...
Off Side is about a Ghanaian boy who dreams of being a footballer at one of Europe’s top clubs. But he is cheated by an unscrupulous football agent and finds himself in England with no place at a football club and no way of getting home. But, because of my wife, the book is going to be about more than that. We were sat in a cafe. The Bear, a fair trade cafe in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. My wife was reading the wrapper of a Divine bar that we were scoffing. ‘Your book is about the unfair trade in wannabe footballers,’ she said. ‘Why don’t you talk to Divine too? About fair trade chocolate? That would make the story even better.’ So she called Divine and they kindly invited me to go to see them.
Read his complete diary here .
Find out more about Tom and his work on his website.