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Jenna Bush Pens Book About Mother with HIV

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Jenna Bush is stepping into the spotlight with her first book, Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope, to be published this fall.

The president’s daughter, 25, tells USA Today that the book is not political. Rather, the tale of a 17-year-old single mother in Latin America who is living with HIV, is about “getting kids thinking and involved,” she says.

Though Bush has been somewhat press shy during her father’s time in office, she says “I’m willing to give up some of my anonymity” to promote her cause.

The book – aimed at teens and featuring photos by Mia Baxter, a former University of Texas classmate of Bush’s – will end with a “call to action,” encouraging readers to confront issues of “exclusion” that range from examining HIV discrimination to “inviting new kids to sit with them in the cafeteria,” says Bush.

The book, to be published by HarperCollins and whose earnings Bush says she will donate to UNICEF, grew out of her efforts on behalf of the group to “put a face on statistics” about children of extreme poverty in Central and South America.

Although Jenna accompanied her mother, Laura Bush, on a 2005 goodwill tour of Africa, her new author status should help put to rest the party-girl image that Jenna and her twin, Barbara (who works at a New York museum), cultivated a few years ago.

In response, Jenna told the newspaper, “I care what people who know me think of me. I think they would disagree (with the image). I like to go to bed early.”

And when the book is published, she’ll be making the social rounds again – only, this time, to schools, libraries and bookstores. “This is not about me,” says Bush, who is still in Panama, “but the kids I met here.”