JK Rowling releases new children's book The Ickabog, and you can read the entire thing online for free

27 May 2020, 11:50

JK Rowling is releasing her first children's book since the Harry Potter series
JK Rowling is releasing her first children's book since the Harry Potter series. Picture: PA/JK Rowling
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

JK Rowling has released her first children's book since the Harry Potter series came out.

Thirteen years after the release of the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, author JK Rowling has published a new children's book – The Ickabog.

The Ickabog is a new fairy tale story “about truth and the abuse of power”, and will be released online for free over the coming weeks.

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Announcing the news this week, JK Rowling revealed that she will be posting a chapter, "or two or three", from The Ickabog every weekday between 26th May and 10th July for children to read from home.

The story will then be published as a book, an ebook and an audiobook in November.

The Ickabog is a fairy tale “about truth and the abuse of power”
The Ickabog is a fairy tale “about truth and the abuse of power”. Picture: JK Rowling

JK Rowling is pledging all author royalties from the new book, when it is published, to "help groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the pandemic", further details of which will be available later in the year.

Writing on her official website, JK Rowling revealed that the idea for the The Ickabog came to her when she was still writing the Harry Potter books.

JK Rowling will be releasing the chapters of the book for free online over the coming weeks
JK Rowling will be releasing the chapters of the book for free online over the coming weeks. Picture: PA

The author said she intended to publish it after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007, but that she later decided to take a break from publishing.

When the author decided to take a step away from children's books, the draft of The Ickabog went to her attic, where it stayed for almost a decade – until now.

She said: "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."

JK Rowling revealed she came up with the idea for The Ickabog when she was writing the Harry Potter novels
JK Rowling revealed she came up with the idea for The Ickabog when she was writing the Harry Potter novels. Picture: PA

JK Rowling is also holding an illustration competition for children in lockdown "needing distraction during the strange and difficult time", and is encouraging children to submit their drawings for The Ickabog.

The best drawings will be included in the finished books, set to be published in November this year.

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