Washington author's inspiring new book for children due to be published in January

A Wearside author has had his first book published, and it will be on the market later this month.

David Swift from Teal Farm is a lecturer on primary education at the University of Sunderland. He has long experience in primary schools, including as a head teacher.

Something he became known for as a teacher was inventing stories and poems to amuse his students. He has aimed the book at children of primary age.

It is called April the Engineer. The title character is a girl who dreams of becoming an engineer when she grows up and refuses to be put off by people telling her that she is “only a girl”.

April the Engineer, by children's author David Swift, is out on January 31.

David, 53, has a grown up daughter and son with his wife Lisa, a nurse, who encouraged him to look for a publisher.

The beautifully illustrated book has been taken up by London publishers Austin Macauley, who have shown great faith in the former St Aidan’s pupil.

David said: “I wrote it in 2020. I was on supply teaching duties. I love making up stories for children. One girl in my class asked me if I could make up a story about a girl who fixes things.

“So I came up with a story about April, who goes round her town wanting to do just that. She meets a lad whose bike is broken. She also mends a pushchair and eventually a lorry.


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"It’s all written in rhyme, a bit like The Gruffalo; and there’s a recurring phrase that runs through.

“She keeps being told ‘You’re a girl, you can’t help me.’ It challenges stereotypes. I’d watched the film Hidden Figures a couple of nights before and it put the idea in my head of making April a black girl and having another stereotype to overcome.

“It only took me about 45 minutes to put down in writing. Lisa read it and said I should send it to a publisher.

“I’ve got other stories in my head and wrote another a couple of months ago.”


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April the Engineer will be released in paperback on January 31 and available through Waterstone’s, from Amazon or directly from Austin Macauley.

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