True Gem

Freshman publishes first book


Regina Gillberg

Picture of Raeann with her book, “True Gem”, courtesy of Regina Gillberg.

By Ronin Vasquez, Class of 2024, Communications Arts High School

Racing to the computer lab every morning right before school, Freshman Raeann Gillberg types furiously, writing and editing constantly to complete the story she has worked on for years.


Every little kid has a dream that they just won’t give up on. They have a story that they want more than anything to tell.

Gillberg made her dream a reality when she published her first book this past November. “The Ageless Gem” was published through Touchpoint Press, after doing her middle school Gifted and Talented (GT) project on how to publish books.

Described on the Barnes and Noble site in a review by a reader as a “delightfully adventurous debut,” the story set in Petra, Jordan revolves around the brother-sister duo of Peter and Lily, who must unravel the mysteries of  “The Ageless Gem,” their bedtime story. Gillberg hopes “The Ageless Gem” will be the first of a seven-book series, each book taking place in one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Gillberg came up with the idea for the series in elementary school when she entered her first writing contest and discovered her passion for the written word. Her mom was the first person who read it.

“I thought it was really good, you know, especially being as young as she is,” said Gillberg’s mom. “I don’t think I could have ever come up with a story. I was just really proud of her and just thought it was awesome.”

After Gillberg finished constructing “The Ageless Gem,” she sent it off to be published. Without wasting any time, Gillberg quickly moved on to start the sequel.

“I finished the second one, and also the third one,” Gillberg said. “I haven’t really started the fourth one, but I have an idea of what most of the books are going to be about.”

Kimberly Villarreal, Gillberg’s freshman English teacher, said she is an “amazing writer and reader.”

“When she [Gillberg] told me it came out, I ordered a copy,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal is reading her signed copy of “The Ageless Gem” with her son.

“ It seems like a very cute story, very creative writing,” she said.

Gillberg has all of high school to complete “The Ageless Gem” series, but she has much more she wants to accomplish.

“I have some other ideas for some other series I want to write, but I’m going to finish ‘The Ageless Gem’ series first.”

Gillberg’s book can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.

This story was originally published on Comm Arts Media on January 25, 2022.