Published Children's Author Gives Back
Seeing your book on Amazon when you're in Upper School is a remarkable feat on its own but considering it was written as a Lower School student is a whole other tale. Grade 9 Safaa Ali took up the challenge by her then Grade 4 teacher Jesse Denison to write an original story for the Kids Write 4 Kids contest run by Ripple Publishing. Her beautiful fable Why Peacocks Have Colourful Feathers was chosen as one of the winners that year. (Safaa also provided the illustrations) The story features a horrible drought in the jungle where the tiger king challenges all the animals to find a solution. The drab peacock is thought to be without value when it is suddenly transformed from the least beautiful animal to the most impressive.
Winning the competition was thrilling but becoming a published author was only the beginning. In the last five years, Safaa has written a blog for Ripple Publishing, served as a judge for the contest she previously won, recorded videos about her experiences and recently conducted a reading of her book a the flagship Indigo store in downtown Toronto. Safaa says, "I would never have imagined when I was writing my story, that it would touch so many readers. I'm also pleased that the proceeds from winning the competition go towards literacy and charitable causes." Safaa still carries around a notebook to jot down any future book ideas. As for the success she's already had, it's clear it's been a wonderful experience. When asked what it is about her story that is resonating with so many young readers, Safaa paused and said, "I think it's the belief that miracles can really happen."