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J.K. Rowling is publishing new children’s book ‘The Ickabog’ for free online

The new book is not related to the ‘Harry Potter’ series but is a new standalone story

British author J.K. Rowling poses for photographers at the Southbank Centre in London.
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling is releasing a new children’s book, “The Ickabog,” for free on her website.
Lefteris Pitarakis, Associated Press

J.K. Rowling is releasing her first children’s book since the “Harry Potter” series, and she’s doing it for free, according to BBC News.

“The Ickabog” will be published chapter by chapter on Rowling’s website for “children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times,” Rowling said, according to BBC.

Rowling made it clear that the new book is not related to the “Potter” series, but is instead a standalone work that she began writing over a decade ago, according to the New York Times.

Rowling began writing “The Ickabog” while still in the middle of writing the “Harry Potter” series, Rowling wrote on her website. She would read the story to her two youngest children at bedtime, but the draft “went up into the attic” when she began working on her adult novels “The Cuckoo’s Calling” (published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith) and “The Casual Vacancy.”

Rowling’s children, now teenagers, were “touchingly enthusiastic” when she talked to them about publishing “The Ickabog,” Rowling wrote. Their enthusiasm encouraged her to finish the story.

A new chapter of the book will be released on Rowling’s website each weekday until July 10, according to the Washington Post. The first two chapters, “King Fred the Fearless” and “The Ickabog,” are already posted on the site.

“The Ickabog” will also be published in November as a print book, e-book and audiobook. Rowling said that she will be donating all proceeds from the book to COVID-19 relief, the Post reported.

Rowling is also inviting children to participate in an illustration competition for the book, with the winning illustrations being published in the print versions of “The Ickabog,” according to the New York Times.