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LeBron James’ “I Promise” children’s book debuts atop New York Times bestseller list

James’ book is an inspirational back-to-school story.
Credit: HarperCollins Publishers

CLEVELAND — Whether or not LeBron James will bring home another NBA championship ring this year is far from decided, but Akron’s native superstar has topped another field.

James’ new children’s book, “I Promise,” debuted atop the New York Times bestseller list for picture books this week. The book written by James and illustrated by Nina Mata was published August 11.

Said writer Laura Christensen in the Times: “‘I Promise’ the book is the literary extension of I Promise the school, founded by James in Akron, Ohio — his hometown — and designed especially for kids who might otherwise ‘fall through the cracks.’”

The brightly-colored picture book is a back-to-school story about Akron children of all races returning to the classroom and sports teams with high hopes and big dreams.

Written before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most American schools, James told the Times that the book still resonates, perhaps more then ever, saying:

“Kids and families are going through a lot. I hope this book can bring them some hope and positivity, and encourage them to keep pushing, because we will make it through this tough time.”

James reacted on Twitter to the chart-topping news: “So AMAZING!!!! Wow wow wow. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Means so much to my kids and their families at the @IPROMISESchool"

"I Promise” ($19.99 list price) is available at local booksellers, amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. A portion of the proceeds will go to the I Promise school in Akron.

James is not done with writing. He plans to release a middle-school novel next year, also on Harper Collins.