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J.K. Rowling Releases Magical New Book Online For Free

J.K. Rowling Releases Magical New Book Online For Free

When J.K. Rowling - the fabled author behind the Harry Potter novels - announces she's releasing another children's book, you take notice.

That's why our ears have positively pricked at the news the author is dropping a brand new book online for free!

J.K. explained the idea for the fairytale book, titled The Ickabog, came to her while she was still writing the world-famous wizarding series and she wrote most of the first draft in between penning the novels.

J.K. wrote 'The Ickabog' in between 'Harry Potter' books (Credit: PA)
J.K. wrote 'The Ickabog' in between 'Harry Potter' books (Credit: PA)
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She says she intended to release The Ickabog after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but instead decided to take break from publishing, which ended up lasting five years.

"After some dithering [...] I decided I wanted to step away from children's books for a while," the author wrote in a blog post on her website.

"At that point, the first draft of The Ickabog went up into the attic, where it's remained for nearly a decade. Over time I came to think of it as a story that belonged to my two younger children, because I'd read it to them in the evenings when they were little, which has always been a happy family memory."

J.K. planned to publish 'The Ickabog' right after the last 'Harry Potter' book but decided to take a break instead (Credit: Warner Bros)
J.K. planned to publish 'The Ickabog' right after the last 'Harry Potter' book but decided to take a break instead (Credit: Warner Bros)
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The author continued: "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."

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She carried on over on Twitter: "Over time I came to think of The Ickabog as just for my family. The manuscript went up into the attic, where it remained until a few weeks ago.

"Opening the box was like opening a time capsule. Most of the story was handwritten, but bits had been typed up. When I put it into some kind of order (I'm not renowned for my filing skills) I had a patchwork first draft.

"Anyway, over the last few weeks I've done a bit of rewriting and I've decided to publish the Ickabog for free online, so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them."

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J.K. Rowling will be publishing chapters of The Ickabog every weekday, with chapters one to five available to read already.

The author describes The Ickabog as "a story about truth and the abuse of power," while noting that the idea - which she came up with over a decade ago - "isn't intended to be read as a response to anything that's happening in the world right now."

What's more, J.K. is holding an illustration competition, encouraging children who may be bored in lockdown to illustrate the story for her - and there have already been some amazing entries!

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The winning submissions will be featured in the book when it is officially published in November 2020, with different drawings used for each publishing territory.

The author will also be donating all royalties made from the book to help groups impacted by Covid-19.

Anyone going to start reading this the second they get off from work?

You can read the first few chapters of The Ickabog here.

Featured Image Credit: J.K. Rowling

Topics: Harry Potter, Books, JK Rowling, Entertainment News

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Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America.