Reviews of my Books

Reviews from other authors, fans and publishers

May’s Moon

‘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 N.A.S.A 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.’

Author of I Think I Murdered Miss and winner of the UK People’s Book Prize

Billy Bob Buttons

May’s Moon

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.

Author of A Different Truth and the Escape from the Past Trilogy.

Annette Oppenlander

May’s Moon

May’s Moon by S.Y. Palmer is a middle grade/age nine to twelve story about a lucky young teenager, Michael May, who has been selected from thousands to be in the final ten in a contest to send the first child to the moon. The story begins with Michael (from England) undertaking a series of exciting and gruelling test exercises with the other young contestants at the Florida Space Center – challenges and tasks under water that simulate conditions and dangers in space, swimming and running events, physical tests, tolerating g-forces etc. Michael’s life-long love for space enables him to overcome his usual lack of confidence as he approaches the final selection day. Not all his team mates are as honest or motivated and suspicions are aroused over the actions of one candidate, Jia Li. Will Michael seize the opportunity of a life time, or give up his chance to be the celebrated first child in space in favor of staying with his family?

May’s Moon is an enjoyable story that will inspire and capture the imaginations of children interested in space discovery. What an exciting story idea: a contest that will select a child to travel to the moon. Michael is a likable and believable character, and readers will be rooting for him from the start. I love that he overcomes his fears and that this is his chance to emerge from being a timid, ignored boy and become the competent and wonderful young man that he really is. There are plenty of challenges and mystery as the plot unfolds at a good pace.

For the young space enthusiast there are plenty of brilliant facts about astronaut training, planets, and space travel, making this much more than a fictitious story. Readers will be inspired to find out more, and S.Y. Palmer’s book is a great way to teach and inform through story. The writing style and dialogue are just right for the target readership. Michael’s and the other children’s sense of thrills, nerves and excitement are conveyed very well as they progress through the contest, with the sub-plot of Jia Li and her sabotaging tactics adding a touch of suspense too. Perfect for promoting interest in the mystery and wonder of what lies beyond our world, and for young space enthusiasts everywhere.


Hilary Hawkes

May’s Moon

From the very first page May’s Moon is a gripping read as we take each small step in the shoes of Michael, one of ten children hoping to win a place to complete a mission to the moon. When he arrives on the ‘Children’s Moon Program’ in Florida Michael learns to face his fears. His courage and confidence build as he survives each heart thumping stage of the assessments and trials required to follow his dream. The action is fast paced and while he adapts to his new environment there are some mysterious mishaps and surprises on the way as he learns about the nine children he has to compete against. Will Michael win a place?

A Space story with a difference. This is an exhilarating informative and inspiring book. Every child reading it is sure to realise what it is to be braver, stronger and smarter than they could ever have imagined and they too could reach the moon or become the next Tim Peake.


Carol Botterill

Librarian Abbey Junior School, Reading

May’s Moon is an exciting and moving adventure story about Michael – known at school as a geeky boy called Micky Moon. Ever since he looked at the sky from his bedroom window he became obsessed by space and taught himself a great deal about rockets and astronauts and the technical knowledge that lies behind space travel. When he wins a place on the Florida ‘Children’s Moon Programme’ his dream comes true. Like all good books this story is as much about people and their connections as it is about Michael’s desire to become an astronaut. Sue Palmer subtly reveals the characters of the children who are on the Moon Programme, and the reasons for them being there. The dialogue between the children is very real and alive and their reactions to the obstacles they have to overcome in the programme are vividly described. Michael’s relationship with his Dad and Mum and sisters and Granny is excellently portrayed and is an important part of the story. This book is an exciting read for all children but I think it would especially appeal to boys, many of whom will identify with Michael.

Susan Holliday

Author of Kingsholt

Fantastic book even though it is less than 150 pages still has a lot of detail in it. The story revolves around the main character Michael May who gets chosen to go to Florida to compete in a space competition with nine other people from around the world.
The prize is a trip to the moon for the winner! But there are tests and obstacles to encounter before the winner is decided.
Very good writing and the ending is very humbling.
Recommend the book for all ten to twelve year olds as they will love it!




Paul Barnes

Camberley Chat Book Club

Beating thousands of others, the geeky boy they call ‘Micky Moon’ at home, is one of ten children from around the world accepted onto the ‘Children’s Moon Program’ in Florida. If he can survive the g-force of a space-shuttle launch, overcome his secret fear of water and pass the other battery of tests, he could win a place on the next mission to the moon! “May’s Moon” by experienced children’s author S. Y. Palmer is a terrifically entertaining read that will have a special attraction for young boys ages 9 to 12. Very highly recommended for school and community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “May’s Moon” is also available in a Kindle edition.




Fiction Shelf | Midwest Book Reviews

Dreaming of the Moon – #Reading Magazine

May’s Moon is the first published book by author, mother and Woodcote resident Sue Palmer. It tells the story of Michael May, a slight 12-year old British boy who has been shortlisted for the Children’s Moon Programme.
We first meet Michael just after he’s landed in Florida and has donned his moon boots for the first time. He’s primed for the space-based examinations NASA have prepared for him. All that stands in between Michael and his lifelong dream of being the first child in space are nine competitive and space mad children, one potential saboteur and his fear of water.
Although it is early days in Palmer’s career and May’s Moon, at 150 pages, is too short, she can do for children astronauts what Anthony Horowitz did for teenage spies.
Like Horowitz’s Alex Rider, May’s Moon understands its reader, using Michael’s quick wit and clumsy dad to boil cosmos-sized concepts into manageable chunks.
Similarly, Palmer engages with her book’s topic in the same way Horowitz, like all good children’s authors, engages wholeheartedly with his. Michael’s fascination with space is matched by Palmer’s, who repeatedly does the unforgivable, slipping facts, figures and details into her narrative and leaving you feeling that you’ve learned something.
Perhaps its strongest quality is that May’s moon is not about action and adventure. In the way least likely to disengage either the twelve year old space nut or bedtime reader, it is about growing up, self-doubt and family.





Milo Boyd | # Reading Magazine

May’s Moon – S. Y. Palmer

Michael May is selected to take part in the Children’s Moon Programme in Florida. Ten children from around the world have been chosen, but only three will make the flight to the moon. During the gruelling course and selection procedure several unexplained accidents occur and although this makes Michael frightened, he is determined to find out what is going in.

May’s Moon is an exciting read that will keep boys and girls engrossed. Michael is an admirable character and we wonder if his hard work and honesty will pay off in the end. The detailed account of astronaut training will thrill youngsters who aspire to be the next Tim Peake. Sue Palmer is available for workshops (years 4-7) and can be contacted on her website


Chapter One Bookshop, Woodley, Berks.