What’s it like to grow up as a Disney child star?
Skai Jackson, whose first big role was the character Zuri on the Disney Channel show Jessie, shares her experience of being in front of the camera, starting as a baby and continuing through her emergence as a young star who becomes a superconfident teen. The daughter of a single parent, Skai began her modeling career in New York when she was still in diapers. Her ambitious mother, struggling to make ends meet, decided she wanted more for Skai, which led to first commercials, then bigger auditions that resulted in her roles on Jessie and Bunk’d. Skai takes readers through how she adapted to life as a child actress and an unexpected role model for black girls. She also reveals the more challenging aspects of celebrity, such as having to stand up for herself, or maturely “clapback,” when attacked on social media. She unapologetically states the reality of having to navigate life as a dark-skinned girl in a business that prefers lighter hues. Sporting her natural hair for years, Skai has had the fortitude to fully embrace and forge her identity as a talented actress, social-change advocate, and fashion icon (as well as a sneakerhead!). Periodic boxed lists of tips and copious photographs, both abetted by lively design, add to the book’s sense of fun.
Truly delivers what the subtitle promises. (Memoir. 8-12)