Harry Potter: New Books
This article was posted on January 20, 2000.
Two new Harry Potter books are on the way. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages will be released on March 16, 2001. Careful readers may remember these titles from the shelves of Hogwarts.
"I have always had a hankering to write these two books," says author J. K. Rowling. She has already completed the very slim volumes, which she describes as "short stories." Each book will reportedly contain about 10 small illustrations done by Rowling herself.
Profits from the books will go to the charity Comic Relief.
There's bad news in store if you're already finding it hard to wait for the next Harry Potter. Fans who were looking forward to attending another midnight party next year for the release of the new book—or just to spending a weekend next summer catching up on Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts—will be disappointed to learn that the book is not likely to appear before 2002.
In an October 21 interview on the Today show, Rowling was asked how far along she was on book five. "Not that far," she replied. "I have started." She says the book will be ready "within two years."
Interviewer Katie Couric pointed out that fans could reread the first four Harry Potter books in the meantime. "Read something else!" suggested Rowling. "The world is not only Harry Potter!"
The Phoenix is Out of the Bag
That same day Rowling revealed that the title of the fifth Harry Potter book will be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She had planned to keep the title a secret but decided on impulse to share the news with an inquisitive young reader. ("I knew it would make him so happy," Rowling said afterward.)
But is that her final answer? Time will tell. Fans of Harry and his exploits may remember that the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was for months known by its working title, Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament.
The fourth Harry Potter book has just been released in Germany. Visit the Harry Gallery for more book covers.
For the Love of Hagrid
Other morsels to come out of Rowling's Today show interview include news of whom she most admires among the Hogwarts staff. "It's a tie, really, between Dumbledore and Hagrid," she admitted. "But I also love Professor McGonagall. She's a great teacher."
When asked about objections to her books—in particular the claim that they promote witchcraft—Rowling said, "People tend to find in books what they want to find. I think my books are very moral."
The usually publicity-shy Rowling is in the midst of a two-week tour in New York, Toronto, and Vancouver that includes interviews and readings as well as gatherings with fans. And how does she feel about being a favorite author of children around the world? "It's wonderful," she said. "[There's] nothing better than that."