For athletes, writing children's books has become somewhat of a pastime. Tons of current and former players have penned books for kids, including Justin Tuck, Dennis Rodman, Alex Rodriguez, the Manning brothers, Terrell Owens and more.

For some, the books are for pure amusement. But for others, like Owens, the writing has a message. In the case of the former star wide receiver, it was about learning to share.

In his debut as a children's author, New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire is advocating a powerful tool: reading. Stoudamire released two books this fall which are based on his own youth: "STAT: Home Court" and "STAT: Double Team." Stoudemire's books chronicle a young player's rise through the basketball ranks in Lake Wales, Fla. The series borrows Stoudemire's nickname, STAT (Standing Tall And Talented) for its title.

In the series, Amar'e deals with issues like bullying, friendship and responsibility. As importantly, Stoudemire hopes his books can inspire children to keep reading. The six-time NBA All-Star, who has a tattoo on his forearm that says "Read," has strongly supported educated through the Amar'e Stoudemire Foundation.

"Kids need to enjoy reading and not see it as a chore," Stoudemire said.

The third book in the series, "STAT: Slam Dunk," is due out in January.

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