Welcome to my site

My name is Sue Palmer and I write stories for children and run science and literacy workshops for schools.

I’m often asked where my ideas and inspiration come from. Some emerge from memorable childhood experiences; others spring from people observation. Most, however, are the products of transporting myself back to a time where almost anything was possible and real adventure existed.

On my website you can find information about my books and the subjects I’ve written about, read what I’ve been up to on my blog and find out more about me and why I love to write.


Find out about my Action Adventure Story Books

Exciting stories for 8-12 year olds


KS2 Science and Literacy Workshops

The May’s Moon trilogy follows 13-year-old Michael May in his quest to become the first child astronaut when he enters a competition run by NASA. Although fiction, the more I researched about our journeys into space, the more fascinated I became in space exploration. That’s why these stories include a substantial amount of space and science fact.

My research for this story has led me in many directions, from talking to astronauts to getting involved in STEM projects with primary schools. As well as being fantastic fun, this has provided me with a bank of information and resources about space travel and developments in science.

I have used these resources, together with a focus on developing writing skills, to put together three stimulating, interactive and educational workshops for KS2 classes.
1 February 2022
More Adventure in Children's Books — S Y Palmer

More Adventure in Children’s Books

Why Adventure Stories are vital for our Children I’ve recently read Katherine Rundell’s ‘Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though you Are So Old and Wise’ and there are so many passages I could quote […]
15 September 2021
More than a Story - What good Fiction does for Children — S Y Palmer

More than a Story – What good Fiction does for Children

I’ve just finished reading an action-packed children’s story about time travel, history, mystery and friendship (Vesuvius by J. D. Fennell) and, after I’d added it to my shelf of ‘enjoyed’ children’s books, I permitted myself a […]
27 July 2021
Bury your Head in a Book this Summer... — S Y Palmer

Bury your Head in a Book this Summer…

If you’re used to reading action-packed thrillers, why not give a fantasy story a go? If you’re into detective stories, what about an adventure story for a change? Challenge yourself to read something new and you […]
21 June 2021
A World of Writing Opportunities — S Y Palmer

A World of Writing Opportunities

Rhu Primary School showcases its space writing skills One of the positive effects of virtual author visits into schools, is being able to ‘go’ anywhere at any time. There’s no getting caught in traffic, no thoughts […]

Reviews & Comments

Read what children and teachers are saying about my books and workshops.
  • Thanks again for the amazing writing workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed every second and P6 absolutely loved it too. Our janitor even peeked his head in our door, as he loves to write stories too.
    Rhu Primary School
  • Firstly, I wanted to say a massive thank you for such a wonderful workshop – it has been the best virtual workshop we have had so far! The children would not stop talking about it all afternoon. We will start writing our stories this week and will pick a few to send on to you – the children are now competing to get their work chosen.
    Hawkedon Primary School
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I loved the premise of this story. I haven't read the first book yet, but I bet it's a great lead-in to this book. I think kids are going to be entertained and inspired to pursue science by this story...  
  • Charlie B - Age 9
    By Charlie B - age 9   “Michael fell back in his chair and closed his eyes. The boy they named Mickey Moon in school, because that’s all he talked about, had just passed the first part of the Children’s Moon Programme, at the Florida Space Centre”Michael May is desperate to be one of the first kids to go to the moon. There are 10 kids from all over the world, but only 3 of them will get to go to space. Michael has to do 3 scary and challenging tasks better than the 9 other contestants. He has to swim in a huge pool and be crazily spun around in a life-sized spaceship. But there is one other massive test that Michael and all the others have to face – there is one girl who thinks it is ok to cheat her way through!

      The interesting thing about this book is that it is a story but it also includes lots of space facts. I learnt all about ‘neutral buoyancy’! There are just so many space facts in this book! One of my favourite parts is when Michael and his friend find themselves trapped in a wardrobe in someone else’s bedroom! The way the author describes their panic really made me laugh! I found this book exciting in parts, funny in others and nerve-wracking at times. It was very good because it would include lots of different emotions all in one chapter.


    This is only the first of 3 May’s Moon books and I am very excited about reading the next 2! I would say it would suit children from the ages of 9-12 years mostly but older people could read it too. It is such a good book because of all the twists and turns! I also really liked the way the author wrote it because it is easy to understand and read. The author explains all the space facts so that younger readers can understand them. I give this book 5 stars!!!
    Charlie B - Age 9
  • Maidenhead's Big Read
    Sue ran a 'Could you be an Astronaut' session at this year's Maidenhead's Big Read for 7-12 year old children. Our feedback about Sue said, 'Brilliantly engaging, an author who knew her subject and could engage with all children and adults'.
    Maidenhead's Big Read
  • Tildy - "I really liked it because we got to use our imagination lots, we got to come up with our own ideas and just write what we were thinking down on paper."

    Esme - "It was really interesting and I liked the part where we had to make things up for a story and give the characters a background."

    Ben - " thought it was really fun."

    Zak - "I learnt about why Sue made the book Mays Moon and I learnt how to write stories, describe settings and make our own characters."

    Evi: “I loved making our own stories, our own characters.  It was so much fun.”

    Bailey:  “I really enjoyed the work and had an amazing time doing story writing, it was a top workshop, it was excellent.”

    Cherisse:  “I really enjoyed learning about the full outfit of an astronaut, I was shocked that they wore diapers and everything else too!”

    Chloe:  “We made our own characters from cutting up magazines and learnt cool info about space, all of it was good fun.”

    Chilton Primary School
  • The Abbey Junior School
    The UII girls were fortunate to spend the day with local author Sue Palmer who published her debut children’s book ‘May’s Moon’ 4 days before Tim Peake’s launch as the first British astronaut to go to the International Space Station. The girls had enjoyed reading the first chapter of the book during the Easter holidays which details Michael May’s first test in a neutral buoyancy pool with ten other children who have been accepted onto the ‘Children’s Moon Program’ in Florida to win a place on the next mission to the moon. Sue showed the girls her Moon globe and ‘Jim’ her model astronaut (which took 8 hours to build) in his ‘Extravehicular Mobility Unit’ (EMU) or space suit. The girls learnt about the order in which an astronaut gets dressed into their EMU including the essential ‘nappy’ for when they are outside of the Space Station. Sue talked about the breakthroughs in Science that have been achieved by the astronauts experiments including growing rocket seeds from the International Space Station - the girls will be planting our own 'space seeds' soon. The girls very excitedly took a test of their own whereby they had to work in teams to put together a jigsaw using thick gloves. Several girls purchased books and had them personally signed by Sue. Sue’s talk was incredibly informative and inspiring and hopefully will encourage the girls to continue to read ‘May’s Moon’ and to go on to study Science or Engineering... maybe one day we will see an UII Abbey girl as next British astronaut to go into space!
    The Abbey Junior School
  • Pangbourne College
    Could you be an astronaut? That was the question posed to Form 1 pupils when children's author Mrs S.Y. Palmer visited the College as part of a project organised by the English and Science Departments. Based on her novel, May’s Moon, the story of a 13 year-old budding astronaut, Mrs Palmer’s workshop explored what it means to live and work in space. Pupils were delighted to receive a signed copy of May’s Moon after the workshop. Head of English Matt Coolin said: “We’re very pleased to offer an activity that sparks an interest in writing and Science in young people. We are now looking at other ways that English and STEM subjects can work together to provide opportunities for our students.”
    Pangbourne College
  • Annette Oppenlander

    When Michael May is selected to participate in the Children’s Moon Program, he thinks all his dreams have come true. But only three of the ten teens are accepted to join NASA and though Michael has trained and studied as long as he can remember, inexplicable injuries and accidents befall his teammates. Michael is scared, but he’s also curious. Somebody must be doing this, somebody in his program who wants to win at all cost.

    Palmer has created a winning tale about space programs which not only tells an engrossing story from the perspective of a thirteen-year old British boy, it also teaches much about the science of space. Perfect for 9-12-year olds, May’s Moon is a must read for kids interested in space exploration and becoming astronauts.

    Annette Oppenlander
    (Author of A Different Truth and the Escape from the Past Trilogy)
  • Emily Dunn

    The first chapter had me completely hooked and after about page ten I had my heart in my mouth. It is a really great read with some really interesting facts woven in to give the reader a real insight into what an astronaut truly goes through before being selected for a mission.

    I loved the mystery that is within the main story and I really felt that Michael was a lovely boy and I desperately wanted him to be picked. Great for adventure fans, space fan and mystery fans, boys and girls 8+.

    Emily Dunn
    (A Festival of Books Bookshop, Chipping Camden)
  • Billy Bob Buttons

    Interested in space travel? Interested in how a rocket can fly to a different planet?

    Then this book is for you. I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting story of a boy battling to be a NASA astronaut and travel to the moon. Not only is it a fast-paced adventure, it is also a mystery populated with a host of complex and interesting characters. I would recommend it to any 9 – 12 year old boy or girl who enjoys a thrilling story with a light sprinkling of intergalactic know-how.

    Billy Bob Buttons
    (Author of I Think I Murdered Miss and winner of the UK People’s Book Prize)
  • John Hampden Primary School
    We really enjoyed your visit - you were brilliant with the kids. They were really inspired and fascinated by your awesome presentation all about space. We have a good number of children reading your book right now - I will try and arrange a book review before the summer holiday. All the best with the book and your school visits. Thank you again - we really appreciated your visit.
    John Hampden Primary School