Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling will be releasing her new children’s novel ‘The Ickabog’ online for free, publishing a few chapters at a time. There are currently 5 chapters already out for you to read here.
“We’ll be publishing a chapter (or 2 or 3) every weekday… ending on July 10th. You don’t need to register to access the story. You can read it for free on a new website…” wrote Rowling on her Twitter.
Rowling described ‘The Ickabog’ novel as “a story about truth and the abuse of power”. She also mentioned that the idea came to her a decade ago, and that it is “not a Harry Potter spin-off“.
“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,” she continues.
Along with the release of her new novel online, Rowling is asking children to contribute artwork for the story. There is currently some controversy surrounding the competition (because let’s face it, she’s had more than a few controversies under her belt already), “she does not mention that by submitting your child’s art, Rowling and Scholastic have the right to use it as they see fit, royalty free, even if your child doesn’t win”.
Even so, people around the world have been sending her pictures their kids have done based on her story, even if they are not qualified to enter due to their region. Here are two of my personal favourites so far. The second picture will absolutely haunt my nightmares.
While the kids might not get any compensation for their work, a total of 34 winners in total will receive a “signed copy of the book”. Scholastic will also donate USD650 “worth of books to the school or library of the winner’s choice.”
After the book’s initial run online, Scholastic will publish it in traditional formats. This includes a book, ebook, and audiobook. You can start reading ‘The Ickabog’ here.