Author at 10
Jackson Elementary School fifth grade student Brigette Harrington is already a published author at 10 years old.
The Hillsboro elementary school student made headlines last winter, after Governor Kate Brown chose her to represent the state in Washington D.C. last year to light the Capital Christmas Tree. Harrington won an essay contest about Oregon's outdoors, beating out more than 1,200 other submissions.
"I cried tears of joy when I found out," Harrington said. "My family was hiding in my principal's office and then the governor came in asking if there was anyone named Brigette."
Harrington is celebrating the release of a new book, "My Oregon," which hit shelves at the Made in Oregon store locations and online on amazon.com this month.
Her "My Oregon" book launch will be held at the Hillsboro Brookwood Library's multipurpose room, 2850 N.E. Brookwood Parkway, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.
As the winner of the essay contest last winter, Harrington and her parents received an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she served and U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryans lit the Capitol's Christmas tree, known as "the People's Tree" during the official ceremony.
"My Oregon" is inspired by Harrington's life with her parents and two cats, Apollo and Persephone, she said. Her family loves to be outdoors, growing their garden and going kayaking, she said.
"This is just everything we do together," Harrington said. "Everything that is in this poem is what we love to do."
The book sports illustrations of iconic wildlife and wildlife to the state, including Haystack Rock. The children's book is illustrated by Ukrainian artist Tatiana Rusakova, who specializes in botanicals. A holiday edition of the book is also in the works, with winter-themed illustrations.
Harrington dedicated the book to the Willamette Forestry Team and the city of Sweet Home. The Christmas tree she lit was grown in the Willamette Forest not far from the city. Harrington recently visited Sweet Home to dedicate a new city hall and to present the book to the mayor and community.
Many of the farms in the area inspired the scenery found in the book, according to her mother Kim Harrington, a teacher in the Hillsboro School District.
When Brigette isn't in school or writing, she can be found enjoying book series like "Nancy Drew" and "Harry Potter." She said she wants to begin reading her books at other schools and libraries to share her story.
Brigette Harrington is currently working on her second book and plans to work with the same illustrator again, she said. She also launched her own
brand, called Abeo Books, named after the ancient Latin name meaning tall tree.
"One thing Brigette keeps saying is, "I'm just a kid and I've written this book, and I want other kids to know that your dreams can come true," Kim Harrington said. "It has been really surreal."
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