Harry Potter


"Rowling Pens Special Harry Potter Books for Charity"

by Michael Holden (Reuters, March 11, 2001)

LONDON - Author JK Rowling has penned two special short books in the hugely successful Harry Potter series to provide a magical boost to a British charity's fundraising appeal.
The books -- "Quidditch Through The Ages" and "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them" -- went on sale Monday with the proceeds going toward the BBC's charity drive Comic Relief, which seeks to help end poverty and social injustice.
"I always write more than I need for the books so bits of them were just written for my own fun," Rowling said.
"So when Comic Relief asked me to write something I thought I would just love to write them, I just thought it would be so much fun and I was completely correct. It was more fun than I've had writing the others."
The titles of both the new stories featured in previous Harry Potter novels. "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them" is a book Harry the bespectacled schoolboy wizard buys to prepare him for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
"Quidditch Through The Ages," is a library book Harry used to learn rules of Hogwarts' famous sport played on broomsticks with four balls.
Both books, which will be published around the world by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and by Scholastic Inc in the United States, cost 2.50 pounds ($3.66) with at least two pounds going to Comic Relief. More than 60 million Harry Potter novels have been sold in 200 countries.
"There is something wonderful about the idea that laughter should be used to combat real tragedy and poverty and suffering and it just is the most wonderful thing," Rowling said.
In addition to the books, the author has given the charity signed copies of the books that will be auctioned online at www.comicrelief.com/harrysbook.
Kevin Cahill, chief executive of Comic Relief said: "JK Rowling's gift of these two short books to Comic Relief is beyond extraordinary."
Helen Fielding, author of the best-selling Bridget Jones diaries, has also written a short story in aid of Comic Relief.
"Bridget Jones's Guide To Life," which went on sale on Monday, features the dieting, smoking, man-hunting single woman offering tips on household management such as how to throw the perfect dinner party.