LeBron James, long a dominant force on the basketball court, will now try his hand at writing children’s books.
HarperCollins Publishers announced a two-book deal with the LeBron James Foundation on Tuesday. James’ debut book is a picture book titled “I Promise.” It is scheduled for release on August 11, 2020.
“Books have the ability to teach, inspire, and bring people together. That’s why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me,” James said in a news release.
“Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in.”
The picture book
James was inspired by the values and initiatives of his foundation’s I Promise program when he started on the picture book, the news release said. A second book, a novel for middle-grade students, will follow in 2021.
The three-time NBA champion has dedicated his time off the court to helping students in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. He started the I Promise School, a public school where students have an opportunity to earn full-tuition college scholarships, in fall 2018.
The school has an on-site full family resource center that offers GED assistance, legal aid, medical and mental health resources, job and family services, financial literacy programming and unlimited access to a food pantry, the news release said.
“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,” said Suzanne Murphy, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books, in the release. “With a universal message that encourages everyone to always strive for greatness, I PROMISE will resonate with students and readers everywhere.”