J.K. Rowling will publish a new standalone book for children, THE ICKABOG, in November 2020. Rowling writes on her website that she wrote it “in fits and starts between Potter books, intending to publish it after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” She will post free serialized chapters every weekday between May 26 and July 10 on The Ickabog website, and invites children to create illustrations, some of which will be selected for various editions of the book. Rowling promises to give all royalties “to help groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the pandemic.” Her list of people to thank includes “my dear friend and editor Arthur Levine,” who now publishes at Levine Querido, though Scholastic will still publish the new book in the US (and Little, Brown Children’s will publish in the UK).
“The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power,” she writes. “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.”
Separately, the next (and fifteenth) Wimpy Kid book will be called Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End, publishing October 27.
Jake Tapper and Michael Connelly will engage in an online conversation about their new books, the craft of writing, how journalism informs fiction, and the importance of supporting independent bookstores, in an open online session to benefit BINC and #SaveIndieBookstores. The event is 7:00PM ET, Thursday May 28.