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JK Rowling publishes ‘The Ickabog’ for free for children in lockdown

Harry Potter author JK Rowling on Tuesday said she is publishing a new children's fairy story for free online, for children in lockdown or at school in these "strange, unsettling times."

Harry Potter author JK Rowling on Tuesday said she is publishing a new children’s fairy story for free online, for children in lockdown or at school in these “strange, unsettling times.”

She said she wrote the story, “The Ickabog,” 10 years ago, but put it away in a box in the attic while she got sidelined writing two novels for adults.

Writing on Twitter, she underlined it was “not a Harry Potter spin-off.”

“‘The Ickabog’ is a story about truth and the abuse of power,” said the 54-year-old.

“The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country,” she said.

Moreover, the manuscript hasn’t been stuck in the attic the whole time.

“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.”

The first two chapters were published on a special website (www.theickabog.com) on Tuesday. A chapter or more will be published daily every weekday until July 10.

Later this year, “The Ickabog” will appear as a book and e-book and will be offered in various languages.

Rowling said she would donate her royalties from the published books to projects and organizations helping the groups most impacted by Covid-19.

She also invited “children to illustrate the book for me! I’ll be suggesting ideas for pictures as we go, but nobody should feel constrained by my ideas.”

Entries were open for children aged 7 to 12.

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