Octavia Spencer is writing a children’s book about a ninja detective

Having already won an Academy Award for baking the world’s grossest pie for Bryce Dallas Howard in “The Help,” Octavia Spencer is expanding her talents to the realm of children’s book publishing.


Octavia Spencer, children’s author. (CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP)

Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that it plans to publish a two-part series for middle-schoolers, written by Spencer. The first book, scheduled to come out next year, has an amazing title: “Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit.”

What is a ninja detective? Is it, like, a modern Nancy Drew wearing all black and potentially using nunchakus to solve the mystery of the hidden staircase? Actually, kind of.

The news release describes the book’s protagonist as a 12-year-old “Brooklyn vigilante with a Tae Kwon Do black belt” who moves to Tennessee with her dad after her mother dies, then gets sucked into a mystery involving the town’s missing time capsule. In the same release, Spencer also cites Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown as major influences on her work. It all sounds potentially delightful.

Also, if it’s not too late to suggest other potential influences: maybe Spencer can sneak in a little bit of “The Adventures of the Black Hand Gang”? Perhaps?

Man, if she can blend female ninja detectives, taekwondo, time capsules and the Black Hand Gang, that would be pretty awesome.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.

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