J.K. Rowling Announces New Book’s Royalties Will Go to COVID-19 Relief

"The Ickabog" will be released online one chapter at a time

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter" series and "The Ickabog."
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic
By Bonnie Stiernberg / May 27, 2020 7:00 am

J.K. Rowling will be releasing her new children’s book, The Ickabog, chapter by chapter from now until July. But in a blog post announcing the news, the best-selling author revealed she will be donating royalties from the book to COVID-19 relief charities once it goes to print.

The Ickabog is a standalone fairytale unrelated to the Harry Potter series, and it’s Rowling’s first children’s book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007. (She has since written novels aimed at adults: 2012’s The Casual Vacancy and 2013’s The Cuckoo’s Calling.) One or more chapters will be posted for free on a dedicated website every weekday from now until July 10, “so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them,” Rowling wrote.

The complete story will be published as a book in November. Rowling described it as being suitable for children aged seven to nine.

The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power,” Rowling wrote. “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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