Grade 8 St. Joseph CS in Fergus Student Publishes First Chapter Book

Rea Garrison has published her first chapter book entitled, The Long Way Home.

Garrison, a grade 8 student from St. Joseph Catholic School in Fergus, spent the last year and a half writing, revising, and perfecting her first novel.

The Long Way Home follows a young dragon, Jasper. All young dragons are curious, and Jasper is no exception. A strange light far out on the darkened waters surrounding his island home is a mystery hard to resist. Forgetting all the rules, he flies out looking for answers. What he finds is trouble with a capital “T”. Now he may never get home.

“It is pretty interesting, it has dragons in it, it talks about friends and family and how friends can be family,” explained Garrison. “Anyone can read it, but it’s kind of geared to a certain age group - like younger readers 8, 9, 10 youngish.”

The writing process began after Garrison’s mother found the Kids Write 4 Kids creative challenge. Sponsored by RIPPLE FOUNDATION, the Kids Write 4 Kids creative challenge is open to Canadian residents in grades 4-8. As dictated by the competition Garrison was tasked with drafting a 5000-word story written as fact or fiction, prose or poetry.

“So that motivated me to write it,” she explained.

Although she wasn’t selected by the judges to have her book published, having it published independently allowed her to have complete control over the creative process - even being able to personally select the cover art.

Now that her work has been published, she looks forward to continuing to write and hopes to create more fictional novels.

The Long Way Home is available for purchase through Garrison’s family or online at