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DSA sophomore also an author

Arise Rock, a sophomore at DSA is a talented actor, avid reader and also a published author of two books. Her first book, “The Trail to Home,” is a story about a girl who travels to Oregon with her family during the 1800s. Written in free verse, Arise concisely captures the treacherous journey from Illinois to Oregon.  

DSA sophomore Arise Rock, right with teacher Karen Lemmons, is a talented actor, avid reader and also a published author of two books.

Her second book is “The Hero of Avendor” and is very different from “The Trail to Home.” This fantasy novel is a coming of age story that follows the journey of Celeste. Celeste is an only child who lives with her mom, who always told her she is special. Celeste is emotional, inquisitive, determined, and impulsive and all of these traits portray a part in Celeste’s growth and development. When her village is attacked, Celeste must leave with the help of a strange boy name Victor, who comes to save her. They join Victor’s friend, a wolf named Gael, and thus begins the start of an epic adventure that will take Celeste, Victor, and Gael through the land of Avendor to fight against an evil power that threatens to take over their beloved country.

Rock said she was inspired to write the book based on her own personal experience. She would tell stories to a group of children about a girl who has magical powers. Soon the children wanted to be part of the story, so she included them into her story. 

Rock said, “Since they like this story so much, I should write it down, and make it into a book so they would always have it.” 

Thus, The Hero of Avendor was written. 

Rock’s writing process for “The Hero of Avendor” was long and tedious. She wrote a first draft and included everything she wanted in the story. Then she revised many times. Two and half years and 12 drafts later, “The Hero of Avendor” was ready for publication. The book was published in late 2019.

As with most fantasy stories, the themes of good vs. evil, friendship, family, and love are also included in this story. But there are messages too. Rock incorporates empowerment, risk-taking, and failures as part of Celeste’s growth and development. Rock wants young people to know that it’s OK to take risks, it’s OK to fail, and it’s OK if you don’t always know what you want to do. The main thing is to try. 

Rock has many stories in her head and on paper. She been writing since she was 2 years old. She wrote “The Trail to Home” when she was in sixth grade. Four years later, she wrote “The Hero of Avendor.”

A few years from now, she said she hopes to be writing and publishing more.  

“The Trail to Home” and “The Hero of Avendor” are available for purchase at the store page of 


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