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Book Signing by Teen Writing Club Member

February 14, 2019
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Old Fox Books and Coffee Shop
35 Maryland Ave
Baltimore, MD 21401

On Feb 14, 2019, Annapolis, Maryland, 8th grader, Aliya Peremel, will release and sign her first book, Counting to 17, at Old Fox Books on 35 Maryland Ave. in Annapolis, MD. Aliya is 13 and a member of the Annapolis MWA Teen Writing Club. Counting to 17 is a poetic tribute to the Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in Parkland, Florida that resulted in the murder of 17 students and teachers.  The signing takes place on FEb 14th which is the first anniversary of the shootings. 

As Aliya processed the killings, she recalled Mahatma Gandhi’s admonition to, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” and decided to write the poems to create a volume that could be used to raise money for school safety.  All profits from the sale of Counting to 17 will be donated to Americans for Children's Lives and School Safety - 

If you can't make the book signing, please consider purchasing a copy ($10) from Amazon on Feb 14th.

“Change really does start with every single one of us,” says Aliya, “and I don’t need the money as much as our country needs it.”

Aliya was in the 7th grade when 17 students were murdered at Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb 14, 2018.  In March, she participated in a school walkout and that night she sat down to write poems that would honor the students and change people’s minds.  Aliya thought she would just knock out the poems, as she is a very prolific writer.  However, she discovered the deaths had affected her deeply and she would need each poem to come to her before she could put pen to paper.  Eight months later, showing discipline most adult writers today cannot muster, Aliya finished Counting to 17.   In Seventeen, the last poem in the book she writes:

 In Stoneman Douglas High School

Blood still runs down the window panes

Screams still ring through the halls

And the echoes of the past

Live on

In the voices of the future

“Aliya is a wonderful young talent.  When you read her poems, said Jim Brewster, MWA Communications Chair, “the maturity of her thought and expression make you forget that Aliya wrote these as a 7th grader.”