- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - An Oscar nominee at age 9, Quvenzhane Wallis is now getting an early start on a writing career.

The actress known for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” has a deal with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for a chapter book series and a picture book. The publisher said Wednesday the series will have three chapter books; the first is scheduled for January 2017. The work is currently untitled.

“Reading is very important,” Wallis, whose other films include “Annie” and “12 Years a Slave,” said in a statement issued through her publisher. “It allows people to form a visual experience in their minds of what is going on in the story. I hope all readers enjoy using their imaginations along with me and take a journey into my books.”

Both the series and the picture book should remind readers of the actress herself, now 12. The series features a “precocious and talented” third grader with star potential; the picture book will have a “spunky young heroine” anxious to attend an awards show.

Wallis will have a co-writer, still to be determined, for the chapter books. Illustrators for her picture book and chapter series also have yet to be chosen.

Wallis will be among the youngest authors in years. Last decade, pre-teen Mattie J.T. Stepanek wrote several best-selling poetry books.

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