New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck has found a new talent: Author!
“Reading is very important to any success,” Tuck, 29, told PEOPLE during a Family Storyteller event at N.Y.C.’s Housing Works Bookstore Café on May 5.
The Super Bowl champ and dad read from his children’s book, Home-Field Advantage, which is inspired by Tuck’s own childhood adventures (including being pushed around by his five older sisters), to show that toughness comes in all forms.
Even the cover image was based on snapshots of Tuck running through the yard as a kid. The young boy also bears a resemblance to Tuck’s 2-year-old son, Jayce, whom the NFL star describes as “the most fearless little kid I’ve ever been around.”
“He will take off running full speed…I’ve seen him try to tackle my dog,” Tuck says.
To encourage reading in all kids, Justin and his wife Lauran founded Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy in 2008, which has donated more than 45,000 books to participating schools.
And while the University of Notre Dame grad gathers ideas for a possible next book, he says his family will stay committed to kids and education. “We felt that those two things were going to be something we were going to be passionate about for the rest of our lives,” Tuck told PEOPLE.
“My dad talked to us about giving back — we didn’t have much growing up but whatever we did have, if we had any extra, it was going into the community.”
— Brooke Showell with reporting by Greg Cappello