JK Rowling publishes first two chapters of her new children's book, The Ickabog
Set in an imaginary land, The Ickabog is a stand-alone story “about truth and the abuse of power” for children from seven to nine years old and is unrelated to Rowling’s other books.
London: JK Rowling is publishing a new story called The Ickabog, which will be free to read online to help entertain children and families stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Harry Potter author said on 26 May she wrote the fairy tale for her children as a bedtime story over a decade ago. Set in an imaginary land, it is a stand-alone story “about truth and the abuse of power” for children from seven to nine years old and is unrelated to Rowling’s other books.
Rowling said the draft of the story had stayed in her attic while she focused on writing books for adults. She said her children, now teenagers, were “touchingly enthusiastic” when she recently suggested retrieving the story and publishing it for free.
“For the last few weeks I’ve been immersed in a fictional world I thought I’d never enter again. As I worked to finish the book, I started reading chapters nightly to the family again,” she said.
“The Ickabog’s first two readers told me what they remember from when they were tiny, and demanded the reinstatement of bits they’d particularly liked (I obeyed).”
The first two chapters were posted online on 26 May, with daily installments to follow until 10 July.
The book will be published in print later this year, and Rowling said she will pledge royalties from its sales to projects helping those particularly affected by the pandemic.
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