A successful young author and illustrator from Arborg who published her first book when she was in Grade 5 visited her peers at Dr. George Johnson Middle School in Gimli on May 30.
11-year-old Alliana Rempel wrote her book, One, last year. Now in Grade 6, Rempel went to Gimli with a prepared presentation for her peers.
“She got to tell us all about what she did and the process of the whole thing,” said Ava, a Grade 5 student who told The Interlake Spectator that she was excited that a young girl her own age was a successful author on June 6.
“She told us about how long it takes to publish a book and about how she had to work on everything to make it perfect,” Ava explained.
For about a week before Rempel’s visit, the Grade 5/6 classes at DGJMS sold freezies at lunch time and raised funds for Rempel’s organization, Battle the Bad with Beauty.
“She wants to build a school so everyone can have an education,” said Ava. “We fundraised money for her with our class and made about $150.”
All four of the school’s mixed Grade 5/6 classes piled into one class room to watch the presentation and sat in complete silence as Rempel spoke, according to one of their teachers, Maureen Fergus.
The combined classes presented Rempel with the funds in the form of a cheque during her visit that, along with all the proceeds of the sale of her book, One, will go towards helping support children’s rights to education in war-torn countrites.
“It (was) neat because it’s a girl that is our age that wrote this book,” said Grade 5 DGJMS student, Ryan. “It makes me feel like anything is possible.”
Rempel told The Interlake Spectator on December 8 that her interest in fundraising for education in war-torn countries piqued when she was in Grade 3.
Rempel was inspired by her mother, Carissa, who brought home a book written by Malala Yousafza. The book titled “I Am Malala” is about the 20-year-old activist who infamously survived being shot by the Taliban in her home country of Pakistan for simply attending school and encouraging other girls to do the same.
Alliana began fundraising by first creating cards to sell to help raise funds for education in impoverished countries before she began the journey of writing her children’s book, “One”.
The book showcases the courage of Azmia, a young girl from a war-torn country whose education is disrupted by terrorists.
“In the book, Azmia’s school supplies become her heroes and they find a way for her teacher to continue secretly teaching her,” Alliana explained in December.
“I really liked how the school supplies could talk and they helped her get an education and give her (ideas) of how she can do it without having a school,” said another Grade 5 student, Vera, at DGJMS on June 6.
“My favourite part (of the book) was the illustrations,” Ryan added.
What was inspiring about Alliana’s visit was that she made her peers in Gimli feel like they could accomplish anything.
“It was inspiring because she is their age, and she has a book published and is promoting it, and it’s all for a good cause,” DGJMS’s Librarian Karen Smith explained. “She’s promoting education in countries (that aren’t as free as we are).”
“The fact that this is a young child that, at an early age, decided she wanted to have a voice and to do things for others, that’s what inspired me,” said Fergus.
Alliana’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. Both Malala Yousafza and her father are quoted on her book’s website, praising her book and encouraging people to pick up a copy.
“I strongly recommend this inspiring book One by Alliana Rempel to all children,” Malala said.
“Alliana tells children to believe in the power of education and change the world.”
Her father Ziauddin called the book well-presented.
“Alliana’s creative art makes the book attractive and fun,” he said.
For more information, visit battlethebadwithbeauty.com.
-with files from Juliet Kadzviti