The Ickabog – J.K. Rowling’s first non-Harry Potter book for children


Ickabog cover
Images adapted from:
JKRowling and JK Rowling

With schools still closed in some parts of the world, authors are finding ways to reach readers at home, from ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions to giveaways.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling recently published her previously-shelved The Ickabog for free during the pandemic for children worldwide.


It is not about the Harry Potter gang


According to Rowling’s website, she started writing The Ickabog alongside her popular Harry Potter series. She had initially planned to publish it after concluding the series, but Rowling ended up putting the book on the back burner until over a decade later.

The story has nothing to do with the “Potterverse” or magic and takes place in a fictional country called Cornucopia. Even though The Ickabog has heavy topics about “truth and the abuse of power”, it is suitable for children as young as 7.


The book is free for now


Ickabog draw suggestions
Screenshot from:
@TheIckabog

The author currently has a competition to encourage children to draw their own illustrations for the book. The publishers will decide which drawings get included when the work gets published later in November.

Ickabog drawing
Screenshot from:
@TheIckabog

Also, all author royalties from the published version of The Ickabog will go towards helping “groups who’ve been particularly impacted” during the COVID-19 pandemic.


More chapters on the way


Ickabog title
Image credit: JK Rowling

The current situation has taken a toll on everyone, including children who usually play outside with friends. With schools still closed in some parts of the world, children need activities to stimulate them while stuck at home, whether it’s online classes or reading a book.

Miss Rowling will publish The Ickabog in parts on weekdays over seven weeks until July 10. You can find the story on the official website here.

Children can participate in the illustration competition here, with locations outside of the US and the UK coming soon.


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