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I Am a Promise

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An inspiring children’s picture book about the indomitable spirit of Jamaican eight-time Olympic medal winner Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce.

$15.95 $11.96

What people are saying…

“Pryce, who earned her fame as an illustrious athlete before putting pen to paper, remains an influential voice for young men and women the world over . . . She lives the promise entrusted to her.”
Jamaica Gleaner

A 2021 CCBC Choices Selection!

I Am a Promise . . . takes readers on a journey from [Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce’s] childhood to the Olympics. It’s her story about dreaming big and turning those dreams into reality.”
New York Amsterdam News

“A retelling of Jamaican Olympic gold medalist Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce’s uplifting journey to stardom, the charming picture book encourages young readers to stay steadfast with determination to achieve their dreams.”
Island Origins Magazine

“Shelley Ann’s colorful book provides fun-filled reading children will delight in exploring. Illustrated by Rachel Moss, vivid images of her triumphs in runaway races will entice any child, athletic or not.”
Caribbean Life

“A choice pick for school and public library children’s collections, highly recommended.”
Midwest Book Review

“This book, which offers material for the youngest readers and extends coverage of Jamaican track athletes beyond Usain Bolt, is a welcome addition to the sports biography bookshelf.”

“Fraser Pryce, who grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, always loved to run. Her noticeable talent was present at an early age and was nurtured by many adults in her life. Her ability was her promise—to herself, to her family, to the people who supported her, and to the country that cheered her on as she represented Jamaica in the Olympics.”
School Library Journal

“Assisted by fellow Jamaicans Rousseau and Moss in her picture book debut, sprinter Fraser Pryce, a six-time Olympic medalist, relays her life from childhood until age 21, when she won her first Olympic gold medal . . . The tale . . . succeeds in conveying Fraser Pryce’s autobiography in a compelling, conversational manner.”
Publishers Weekly

“Writing with Rousseau, Pryce offers a text that’s accessible to new readers, repetition both underscoring her tirelessness and supporting decoding. Firmly outlined in black and opaquely colored, Moss’ images complement this moving story while highlighting both Pryce’s determination and the spirit of Jamaica, especially the support of a loving community (all depicted as black, like Pryce) . . . A solid addition to the early biography shelf.”
Kirkus Reviews

Included in Publishers Weekly’s Spring 2020 Children’s Announcements, African-American Interest Young Readers’s Titles, 2019–2020, and the Spring 2020 Children’s Sneak Previews!

“A colorful children’s book, chock full of vividly wonderful, bright and brilliant illustrations by Rachel Moss.”
Exclusive Magazine

“Highlights perseverance, grit, confidence, and of course the Olympics.”
Book Tastings

“Her grandmother tells her she is a promise but she doesn’t understand why. As time goes on, she gets faster and begins to think of racing. Shelly Ann was the fastest woman in the world in 2012. She’s a six-time Olympic medal winner. She learned she was a promise for Jamaica and the people who supported her. She also learned she was a promise to herself to do the best she can. That’s a good lesson for all of us.”
Journey of a Bookseller

“Jamaica, stand up! This . . . picture book is something to get excited about.”
Here We Read


Interest level: K–5 | Grade level: 2 | Lexile Level: 540L | Guided Reading Level/F&P: M

Part of our Black Sheep imprint for young readers.

I Am a Promise takes readers on Shelly Ann’s journey from her childhood in the tough inner-city community of Waterhouse in Kingston, Jamaica, through her development as a young athlete, to her first Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter sprint in 2008.

The story charts how Shelly Ann’s commitment to hard work as well as the encouragement of loved ones helped her achieve her dreams against great odds and challenging life experiences. Most importantly, I Am a Promise encourages young readers to believe in themselves and to maximize their own promise to the world.

Watch Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce read I Am a Promise at World Athletics as part of their Athletics@Home series:

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Published: 2/4/20
  • IBSN: 9781617757648
  • e-IBSN: 9781617757747


SHELLY ANN FRASER PRYCE is, as of 2021, an eight-time Olympic medal winner and the most-decorated 100m runner in Olympic history. She holds several prestigious national and world athletic titles including the 2013 IAAF World Female Athlete of the Year. In recognizing her contribution to sport and the country as a whole, the government of Jamaica awarded Fraser Pryce the Order of Distinction, and, in 2018, unveiled a statue of her at the National Stadium. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Fraser Pryce is also the founder of the Pocket Rocket Foundation which assists promising high school athletes, the owner of a café, Shelly’s Café, and a hair salon named Lady Shelly Beauty. Fraser Pryce is married to Jason Pryce and they have a son, Zyon, who was born in August 2017. I Am a Promise is her debut children’s book.

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ASHLEY ROUSSEAU studied creative writing at Lesley University’s MFA program. Her short stories have been published in Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters and Small Axe. She was born in Jamaica, where she continues to live with her family and work as a designer with local artisans. I Am a Promise is her latest children’s book.

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RACHEL MOSS is an illustrator in love with the bright colors and vibrant energy of the Caribbean. She was born in Jamaica and studied animation in England at the University for the Creative Arts. Moss now lives in Jamaica where she spends her days illustrating children’s books such as Respect with song lyrics by Otis Redding, These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ with song lyrics by Lee Hazlewood, African with song lyrics by Peter Tosh, I Am a Promise by Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, Abigail’s Glorious Hair, and Milo & Myra Learn Manners with Mr. Mongoose. Her latest work is Lean on Me with song lyrics by Bill Withers.

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