J.K. Rowling's New Children's Book 'The Ickabog' To Be Released For Free Online

J.K. Rowling has already been letting Harry Potter fans live out their Hogwarts dreams from home with her Harry Potter at Home series, which gave young readers and teachers an online hub to enjoy and share their favorite Wizarding World books and content. Now the author is bringing a new children's book to young readers starving for something to do while stuck at home. Rowling is releasing her children's book, a non-Harry Potter fairy tale called The Ickabog, online for free for coronavirus relief causes, posting new chapters each weekday through July 10. The complete story will be published in book form, and in e-book form, in November.

Rowling has published a few successful books unrelated to the Harry Potter series, but children's fairy tales seem to be her strength. The author is giving young fans a new fantasy story with The Ickabog, a standalone fairy tale that will be released in chapters online for free, in "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 on Twitter, announcing the online release. Rowling also said she will donate royalties from the book project to COVID-19 relief causes.

Rowling is offering the chapters as a source of comfort for children stuck in quarantine and as more content for readers who have maybe burned through all seven Harry Potter books already. The Ickabog will be Rowling's first children's book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published in 2007, but the idea came to her soon after she finished the Potter series. "Until very recently, the only people who'd heard the story of The Ickabog were my two younger children," Rowling wrote, saying she kept the story close to her heart and didn't revisit it until the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit and she began to rewrite it.

"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."

Rowling also invited children to submit illustrations for the book, which will be published in full in November. The winners of the contest for the "best illustrations in each global territory" will be included in the books in each publishing territory, Rowling wrote.

The new chapters will be published on The Ickabog website here.