It’s been thirteen years since J.K. Rowling, the famous author of the Harry Potter series, released her last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. While fans wanted more, Rowling needed a break from the wizarding world, from Harry Potter, and from writing children’s books in general. It wasn’t until 2016 that Rowling gave Potterheads (the cute nickname for Harry Potter fans!) something to get excited about. To the delight of her fans, Rowling (in collaboration with playwright Jack Thorne and theater director John Tiffany) released a sequel to the Harry Potter series called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the form of a play on July 30th, 2016 (Harry Potter’s birthday) and as a two-part book at 12:01 a.m. on July 31st (the minute after Harry Potter’s birthday). Needless to say, both the play and book versions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child were extremely successful, with sold-out runs at theaters around the world and books flying off the shelves at bookstores. Five years later, Rowling’s back with a book that’s been tucked away in her attic since her kids were young. Rowling, how dare you hide away your creative genius from us for so long?!?! We’re kidding, of course, because there’s a really good reason why she hasn’t shared this story until now: It was a special story that she had shared with her kids! Aww … don’t you just love her even more? The Ickabog, which she is making available for free on her website chapter by chapter from May 26th through July 10th, is a story about “truth and the abuse of power.” Intrigued? We are too! What’s more is that Rowling is asking fans to help illustrate the book version of The Ickabog, which will be released later this year. Those interested can have grown-ups post their illustrations on Twitter using the hashtag #TheIckabog. More details about the illustration competition can be found on The Ickabog website. Follow The Ickabog here and tell us what you think of the story as it unravels by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founder’s Note: Joann and Sapna are reading The Ickabog to their kids. Want to join their virtual book club?