Chapter-by-chapter, readers can read The Ickabog on its own personal website, hosted by Rowling. As yet, two full chapters are already up for anyone to dig into.
“It isn’t Harry Potter and it doesn’t include magic,” she writes on the site. “This is an entirely different story.”
The author came up with the idea for this book “a long time ago,” testing it out on her two younger children before bedtime each night as she worked on it, the website says.
But the book was put on hold as her Harry Potter series took precedence.
“Then this lockdown happened. It’s been very hard on children, in particular, so I brought The Ickabog down from the attic, read it for the first time in years, rewrote bits of it and then read it to my children again,” she writes. “They told me to put back in some bits they’d liked when they were little, and here we are.”
Rowling is even asking for her very own readers, from ages seven to 12, to illustrate the book for her. It’s a way for her to help children keep their minds busy and creative as they remain indoors.
“Every day, I’ll be making suggestions for what you might like to draw. You can enter the official competition being run by my publishers, for the chance to have your artwork included in a printed version of the book due out later this year,” she writes.
“I’ll be giving suggestions as to what to draw as we go along, but you should let your imagination run wild.”
To end her personal note, she says she’ll be donating all of the royalties to those who were affected by the pandemic when the book comes out in November.
On her professional website, Rowling says the book is suitable for children ages seven to nine. Though meant for kids, she says it’s a story “about truth and the abuse of power,” but notes it has nothing to do with the current state of the world.
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