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LeBron James Wants His New Children's Book to Give Kids 'Confidence and Hope for Their Future'

People logo People 2020-08-07 Jen Juneau
LeBron James et al. smiling and taking a selfie in a car: savannah james/ Instagram LeBron James with his kids © Provided by People savannah james/ Instagram LeBron James with his kids

LeBron James is hoping to inspire some young fans to be their best selves with his newest venture.

The Los Angeles Lakers star, 35, is about to release his debut children's picture book I Promise, which he tells Parents he hopes helps kids "realize they can do anything."

"I want them to be confident in themselves and what they're capable of," says James, who is a father of three children: daughter Zhuri Nova, 5½, plus sons Bryce Maximus, 13, and LeBron Raymone Jr., a.k.a "Bronny," 15. "Kids just want to know someone believes in them."

LeBron James et al. smiling and taking a selfie in a car: LeBron James with his kids © savannah james/ Instagram LeBron James with his kids

"If we can give them confidence and hope for their future, that changes everything for them," he adds. "I hope this book can be that source of inspiration and that push they need to go for their dreams."

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a baseball player holding a glove: Jason Miller/Getty LeBron James © Provided by People Jason Miller/Getty LeBron James

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As for James himself, he has "always loved reading" — in part because "you can learn so much from books," regardless of age.

"They can take you places you've never been, put you in situations you never considered and help you find inspiration," he tells Parents. "Reading others' stories is what gives us perspective and opens our minds to so much possibility. When I need to disconnect or get away for a bit, I read."

"And I like having the books in my hand, and being able to take them with me wherever I go," the athlete shares. "Books are an irreplaceable form of learning."

Some of his favorite stories as a child? "I grew up reading Go, Dog. Go!, The Cat in the Hat, The Giving Tree and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," James recalls. "I read them to my kids ... I hope kids are still reading all of these!"

HarperCollins I Promise book cover © Provided by People HarperCollins I Promise book cover

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The "lively and inspiring" I Promise, illustrated by Nina Mata, "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," according to its description on HarperCollins' website.

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 February 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."

I Promise, out Tuesday, is available for pre-order now on amazon.com.


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