JK Rowling has announced that she will release her new children’s book The Ickabog for free online. The Harry Potter author said that she wants to help children entertained during the pandemic.
Two or three chapters will be released online every weekday starting from this afternoon until the 10th July.
Rowling said that the idea for The Ickabog came to her while she was still writing Harry Potter and that she intended to publish it after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. However, after the last Potter book I ended up taking a five-year break from publishing.
The Ickabog is a fairy tale about truth and the abuse of power.
“A few weeks ago at dinner, I tentatively mooted the idea of getting The Ickabog down from the attic and publishing it for free, for children in lockdown. My now teenagers were touchingly enthusiastic, so downstairs came the very dusty box, and 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. This was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my writing life, as 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),” she said.
Rowling is also asking children to send in their drawings pertaining to the Ickabog when they read it. Parents and guardians may post their children’s drawing on Twitter using the hashtag #TheIckabog.
In November 2020, The Ickabog will be published in English in print, eBook and audiobook formats, shortly followed by other languages. The best drawings in each territory will be included in the finished books.
Readers will not have to register to access The Ickabog as it will be made available on a new website set to be launched this afternoon at 4.00 pm CET.
Rowling intends to donate her author royalties from the published books to projects and organisations helping the groups most impacted by Covid-19.
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