New Children’s Book Coming from President Obama

ABC News' Jake Tapper reports:

As part of the book deal then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., inked in 2004, Random House today announced the publication of a children’s book by the president, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.”

The book will be released on November 16 – roughly two weeks after the midterm elections -- with a 500,000-copy first printing.

“Of Thee I Sing,” which President Obama finished writing in 2008, describes thirteen “groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation—from the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington,” the publisher said in a statement. It is illustrated by Loren Long.

Proceeds from the sale of the book, Random House announced, will be donated to a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled US troops. The book will be published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers and is part of the three-book, $1.9 million deal that then-Sen. Obama reached with Random House through his powerful attorney Bob Barnett.

The other two books were the best-sellers Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope. Before his inauguration Mr. Obama also inked a $500,000 deal with the publisher for a young adult version of Dreams From My Father.

Mr. Obama’s election has been a publishing boon for the family. His half-brother George signed a book deal, as did his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. Duke University Press posthumously published the 1992 anthropology dissertation of the president’s late mother, Dr. S. Ann Dunham, " Surviving against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia."

“It is an honor to publish this extraordinary book," said Random House children's president and publisher Chip Gibson, "which is an inspiring marriage of words and images, history and story. Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans—the potential to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths.”

The suggested retail price for print and ebook -- which will be released simultaneously -- is $17.99.

-Jake Tapper

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