LeBron James is taking his slam-dunk skills into the world of children’s literature.
The 35-year-old Los Angeles Lakers superstar and father of three is gearing up to release his first-ever kids’ book through HarperCollins on Aug. 11. Called I Promise, the picture book is illustrated by Nina Mata.
The “lively and inspiring” book’s description on HarperCollins’ website and Amazon says that it “reminds us that tomorrow’s success starts with the promises we make to ourselves and our community today,” and “has the power to inspire all children and families to be their best.”
The book’s cover art features six children of varied skin tones working together, painting its title — “I PROMISE” — in white lettering over a colorfully painted wall. According to a press release, the book’s story is “inspired by the values and initiatives of [James’] foundation’s I PROMISE program in Akron, Ohio.”
“Books have the ability to teach, inspire, and bring people together,” James said in the release. “That’s why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me.”
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“Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in,” the athlete continued. “I PROMISE is powerful in that way and I can’t wait for people to read it.”
HarperCollins Children’s Books’ editor Luana Horry praised James as “a positive role model for kids” in the release, saying she is “thrilled to have the opportunity to publish such an inspiring book.”
“It’s been such a pleasure working on I Promise, and James’ words have motivated us all to be the best versions of ourselves,” she noted of the basketball legend, who is dad to 5-year-old daughter Zhuri Nova as well as sons Bryce Maximus, 12, and LeBron Raymone Jr., a.k.a “Bronny,” 15.
HarperCollins’ President & Publisher Suzanne Murphy added in a statement, “The philanthropy work that LeBron James does off the court, including the education that he’s providing to the students at the I PROMISE School, is remarkable.”
“With a universal message that encourages everyone to always strive for greatness, I Promise will resonate with students and readers everywhere,” Murphy added.
According to the I PROMISE School’s website, the school was opened in 2018 “with a mission to wrap around the most at-risk students and families in Akron. Taking a We Are Family approach to educating the whole child and family, IPS is creating a new model for urban, public education.”
While I Promise marks the beginning of James’ journey into children’s titles, the release reports that he will also offer a middle-grade novel next year.
I Promise is out Aug. 11, and available for pre-order now on amazon.com.
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