Oscar-winning THE HELP star Octavia Spencer has turned author to pen a series of books for schoolchildren.

The actress has signed a deal with bosses at publishing house Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and she'll write two novels about the adventures of a 12-year-old girl named Randi Rhodes, who sets out to solve mysteries in her Tennessee town.

Spencer says, "Growing up I was a huge fan of mysteries like Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown, and my biggest hope is that after meeting these young detectives, kids will experience the same sense of magic I felt when solving my first mystery."

The first tome, entitled Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit, will be released next autumn (13).