Fri. Jan 22nd, 2021

JK Rowling to publish new children’s book online

JK Rowling will post a chapter (or two, or three) every weekday between 26 May and 10 July on ‘The Ickabog’ website.

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Famous British author, JK Rowling recently surprised fans with the announcement of a brand new children’s book, which she is publishing in daily installments on her website for free.

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Photo: jkrowling.com

The Ickabog

According to BBC, The Ickabog is the Harry Potter writer’s first children’s story not to be linked to the popular Harry Potter series. She wrote it over a decade ago for her own children and has now dusted it off.

It’s for “children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times”, she said. She had previously referred to it only as an unnamed “political fairytale” and initially thought it belonged to her two younger children.

Rowling says that she got the idea for The Ickabog while she was still writing Harry Potter.

“I wrote most of a first draft in fits and starts between Potter books, intending to publish it after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. However, after the last Potter book I wanted to take a break from publishing, which ended up lasting five years.”

She says that she decided to publish the books a few weeks ago.

“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.”

Where to read The Ickabog:

Chapters of The Ickabog are being published daily until 10 July on The Ickabog website. In November 2020, The Ickabog will also be published in English in print, eBook and audiobook formats, shortly followed by other languages where all author royalties will go to “groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the pandemic”.

The first two chapters, which went online on Tuesday, introduced King Fred the Fearless, ruler of Cornucopia, and five-year-old Bert Beamish.

Readers also learned about the myth of a fearsome monster called The Ickabog, which is “said to eat children and sheep”.

The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power,” Rowling wrote on her website. “To forestall one obvious question: the idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it isn’t intended to be read as a response to anything that’s happening in the world right now. The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country.”

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