Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o joins the growing list of celebrity children’s lit authors, as The New York Times reports the Star Wars: The Last Jedi actress has a kids book due out in 2019.
Nyong’o, who shared the announcement via her own social media channels, is writing a book titled Sulwe (translated from Luo, it means “star,” which sounds about right) with an empowering message for young girls. The book follows a 5-year-old Kenya girl who feels “uncomfortable” about the fact that her skin is darker than anyone else’s in her family, so she tries to figure out how to lighten it. But as the story goes on, she learns to “see beauty differently.”
The Queen Of Katwe star says reading with her mother helped teach her to embrace her complexion, which is one of the reasons she wanted to write the book. She’s promoted more inclusive notions of beauty for much of her career—in her 2014 Black Women in Hollywood speech, Nyong’o addressed the idealization of lighter-skinned women of color. Speaking directly to a young girl who says she was inspired by Nyong’o’s self-acceptance, the actress said, “I hope that my presence on your screens and in magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel validation of your external beauty, but also, get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.”
Sulwe is being published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and will be out January 2019.