Cardiff-born writer Roald Dahl has been voted favourite children’s author in an online survey of UK primary teachers. JK Rowling and the Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson came joint second, with The Gruffalo voted best book. Siobhain Archer, founder of the Teachit Primary website, said Dahl was named by a “staggering” 17% of those surveyed.

Ms Conquy said: “Teachers would find Road Dahl easier to read to their class than they would the Harry Potter books. The Harry Potter books are brilliant but they are very long and they are very dense and a lot of children love them, but they are not so good to read aloud.”

Source: Here

We’re pleased to announce that will be open to everyone in early April 2012.

A posting on the Pottermore Insider said the Pottermore Shop would soon welcome fans after being delayed from a planned October opening. The site’s creators have been testing it and said they changed to a more “suitable” platform for the millions of expected visitors. Over the coming weeks and months they’ll be adding new exclusive content and more exciting features (such as sounds) to Pottermore for you to explore, share and discover.

"So get ready to join the Pottermore journey – the wait is nearly over."

Having been feted as one of the world’s richest women in 2011, she saw her fortunes depleted to such an extent that she is no longer a dollar billionaire, meaning she has less than £640 million in the bank. The decline in the spending power of Britain’s rich emerged as the global number of billionaires rose to 1,226, and their combined wealth went up to a record $4.6 trillion (£2.9 trillion), despite the impact of the world economic crisis. Among them are 37 British billionaires, an increase of five since last year, headed by the Duke of Westminster, who is worth $11 billion (£7 billion).

Forbes, which has produced an annual list of billionaires for the past 25 years, said that Miss Rowling’s declining fortune was the result of her charitable giving, which had left a significant dent in her bank balance, along with the heavy taxation burden levied on high earners in Britain. Business leaders have warned for some time of the impact of the 50p top rate of tax on entrepreneurship and wealth creation.

Last year Miss Rowling was estimated by Forbes to be worth $1 billion, with the bulk of her money coming from her books and the Harry Potter film franchise. The magazine said: “New information about Rowlings’ estimated $160 million (£101 million) in charitable giving combined with Britain’s high tax rates bumped the Harry Potter scribe from our list this year.”

Source: Here

Jo writes new book for adults

Worldwide English rights to the book, whose genre, release date and subject matter are shrouded in secrecy, have been snapped up by publisher Little, Brown, a division of French company Hachette Livre. The deal means that Rowling’s long-standing relationship with Bloomsbury, the London-based publisher that launched the Harry Potter books, has come to an end, at least in terms of new works by the author.

Rowling’s humble beginnings, which included spells writing in an Edinburgh coffee shop to stave off the cold, are the stuff of literary legend. Rowling, who is worth an estimated £530 million, said that the new novel will be nothing like the Harry Potter series, which sold tens of millions copies in the UK alone. She said that with the move from children’s to adult fiction, a move to a new publisher seemed like a logical step.

She said: “Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher.”

Rowling said that she was “delighted” to have a “second publishing home” in Little, Brown in what she described as a “new phase” of her writing life. Little, Brown, which is also home to authors such as Alexander McCall Smith and Jenny Colgan, refused to comment on the book, beyond saying that its title, publishing date and “further details” will be announced later this year. As soon as the deal was announced, speculation swirled around Twitter about the book’s content.

Ian Rankin, the Edinburgh-based author whose highly-successful Rebus detective novels are also set in the city, suggested Rowling’s book will be a crime novel.“Wouldn’t it be funny if J K Rowling’s first novel for adults turned out to be a crime story set in Edinburgh? My word yes,” he said. He continued: “Might explain why she left the neighbourhood (me, McCall Smith, Atkinson near-neighbours) and moved across town..”

Neil Blair, Ms Rowling’s literary agent at The Blair Partnership, remained tight lipped about the book. He said that it was “exciting news” when contacted by The Daily Telegraph but would reveal no more. “At this time neither we nor Little, Brown are providing any further details I’m afraid,” said Mr Blair.

It is understood that there was no bidding war for the book as it was not put up for auction. In a statement, Bloomsbury said: “We are proud to be JK Rowling’s longstanding children’s book publisher. On the 26th June this year, we will be celebrating the 15th anniversary of the first publication of ‘Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone’. “The relationship between JK Rowling and Bloomsbury remains stronger than ever. We are pleased to announce that as part of our long term strategy for Harry Potter we intend to publish illustrated editions of all seven Harry Potter books in a rolling programme from 2013 onwards in addition to our partnership on e-books with the Pottermore website.”

Send a thank you message to David Yates.

David Yates is going to be in Cambridge this weekend and I thought it would be nice to give him a little thank you gift from the fans for helping direct and put Harry Potter on our screens. If you would like to leave a message then you can do so here. I will print off every message and try to give it to him when he makes his speech at one of the Cambridge Colleges. I will not rest until he has it in his hands.

Leave a message. Leave a message. Leave a message. Leave a message. Leave a message.

Brand new layout

Jo Rowling Online has gone under a make-over so I hope you all like the new look. I shall be adding icons, wallpapers and various other things to the site in due course. So stay tuned, wizards. All will be revealed.

Philosopher’s Stone featured in top 100 Greatest Books for Kids

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone - the first in J.K. Rowling’s saga about the boy wizard - was chosen as one of Scholastic’s top 100 Greatest Books for Kids, coming in at number six. The top pick overall was Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. The full list can be found here, and will be published in the March issue of Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine, with J.K. Rowling on the cover.

Francie Alexander, senior vice president of Scholastic, had this to say about the first part of the Harry Potter series: ‘From Scholastic Kid’s and Family Reading Report research, we learned that one book can make a difference and motivate kids to read more challenging material than ever before. Harry Potter was, and is, that important first book for many readers.’

Jo among the top 5 Feminists of the 21st Century

Policymic have composed a list of the top 5 feminists in the 21st century. The name to grace to top spot is none other than J.K. Rowling.

1. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series: With Harry Potter’s success, Rowling effectively killed the idea that female fantasy writers can’t be accomplished or make money off their work. In addition, the wizarding world of Harry Potter is one in which the sexes have equal opportunities in education, their careers, and even in sports (Quidditch is a professional sport in the series with male and female players), and some of the most influential and inspiring characters are women. Though her work is fictional, it challenges us to create a more fair and equal world in which both sexes can achieve their goals and be influential.

Other names to make the top 5 are Jill Abramson (Editor in Chief of the New York Times), Kristen Wiig (comedienne and actress), Lilly Ledbetter (activist) and Jessica Valenti (blogger, author, activist).

David Walliams Takes On JK Rowling

David Walliams is to go up against authors including JK Rowling and Charlie Higson as they battle to see their titles declared the best children’s book of the past decade. They are in the running to land the accolade, which will be decided by viewers of BBC series Blue Peter.
The shortlist - announced this week on an edition of the programme - has been compiled from the 10 biggest-selling fiction books for five to 11-year-olds in each of the past 10 years, although only the top seller for each author is included.
The winner will be announced alongside the annual Blue Peter book of the year victor on a special book-themed edition of the CBBC show on 1 March.

The 10 books are:
Alex Rider Mission 3: Skeleton Key - Anthony Horowitz (2002)
Candyfloss - Jacqueline Wilson, illustrated by Nick Sharratt (2006)
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (2008)
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix - J K Rowling (2003)
Horrid Henry And The Football Fiend - Francesca Simon, illustrated by Tony Ross (2006)
Mr Stink - David Walliams, illustrated by Quentin Blake (2009)
Private Peaceful - Michael Morpurgo (2003)
The Series Of Unfortunate Events: Austere Academy - Lemony Snicket (2002)
Theodore Boone - John Grisham (2010)
Young Bond: SilverFin - Charlie Higson (2005)

You can vote for Jo and OotP HERE.

Jeff O’Neal argues Rowling should get Nobel prize.

Jeff O’Neal has recently written an argument over at Book Riot in regards to Jo Rowling winning the Nobel Prize Literature (a prize she wholeheartedly deserves in my opinion but that could just be me being a little biased). There are some points throughout the article that I disagree with highly, for example, the belief that she doesn’t write great sentences which is complete and utter rubbish.

Read the argument for yourselves below:

Last week, it came out that in 1961, C.S. Lewis nominated J.R.R. Tolkien for the Nobel Prize in Literature and that Tolkien was summarily dismissed by the committee. As far as I know, there has never been much public discussion of Tolkien’s merits as a Nobel laureate, but it was still interesting to see some behind-the-curtains commentary on his candidacy. Anders Osterling articulated the central objection to Tolkien, who he said “has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality.”

Anyone who follows the literature Nobel at all will not be surprised by this; they know that the Nobel is interested in writing that is decidedly literary (and increasingly that is under-appreciated and/or political). This makes sense, as the award is the ultimate arbiter of what literary excellence means.

But what does literary excellence mean? In his will that established the prizes, Alfred Nobel wanted the Literature award to go to “to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.” This phrase is as ambiguous as it is telling; the “ideal direction” of literature is not stated, but the award clearly is intended for authors whose work strives toward some kind of literary ideal.

These days, we know better than to claim any central, unyielding quality that makes a written work literary, but we can get a sense of what literary means to the Nobel committee by looking at some recent commendations. The most recent winner, Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, received the award “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality.” 2009’s laureate, German writer Herta Müller, was cited for her “concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose” that “depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.”

The structure of these two commendations is repeated in most of the recent award descriptions, and shows how the committee imagines the highest achievement of literature–the combination of exemplary craft (concentration of poetry, condensed, translucent images) and important subjects (“the landscape of the dispossessed” and “fresh access to reality”). This formulation feels both reasonable and desirable, as it captures both the aesthetic and topical demands most readers of literature value.

But it is also a limited formulation of what the “ideal direction” of literature might be. There are other ways of thinking about what literature’s goals should be, and the one that jumps to mind for me is reading itself. Reading is an end in itself and therefore writing that inspires people to read does indeed work in “an ideal direction.” And what living author has inspired more people to read and more love of reading than J.K. Rowling?

Put the artistic imperative aside for the moment and consider this: she is the formative writer for millions and millions of children. She doesn’t write great sentences, and it would be hard to argue that the subject matter is hugely important. But the questions, characters, stories, and values in her work have resonated with the world.

And what more can books do than that?

- Taken from Book Riot!

Do you think Jo should get the Nobel prize Literature? Leave your thoughts in the comment area below :D

All children should read Harry Potter books by 11, says minister

Too many pupils are shunning novels by authors such as Roald Dahl, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson and JK Rowling because of key weaknesses in the teaching of English, it was claimed. Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, said all children should be expected to read the Harry Potter novels by the end of primary school but “can’t enjoy these brilliant books because they haven’t learnt to read properly”.

He quoted figures from a major international report showing that almost four-in-10 teenagers in England never read for pleasure – considerably more than in other countries. His comments come as the Government prepares to introduce a new compulsory reading test for all six-year-olds in state education to identify those struggling the most at a young age.

Mr Gibb also unveiled plans to stage a national reading competition to encourage nine- to 12-year-olds to “read voraciously at school and for pleasure at home. We need to do more to encourage children to read for pleasure and to develop a life-long love of reading,” he said.
Addressing the North of England Education Conference in Leeds, he added: “We’re lucky that some of the most magical and exciting children’s books ever written have been written in the English language – the works of Roald Dahl, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson; Harry Potter and Narnia; the Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh. By the end of primary school, all children should be able to read and enjoy books like Harry Potter. But too many children can’t enjoy these brilliant books because they haven’t learnt to read properly.”

Currently, as many as one-in-six children are still struggling to read when they leave primary school, figures show. One-in-10 boys aged 11 has a reading age no better a seven-year-old.

Source: Telegraph

Harry Potter to go Hollywood

In the wake of the ginormous success of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the area of Universal Orlando devoted to the popular franchise, a park just like it will soon be created in Tinseltown. The decision to bring Hogwarts to Universal Hollywood was announced on Tuesday by both Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts. (E! is part of the NBCUniversal family.) What’s more, the already-existing Potter park in Orlando is going to be expanded to make way for even more magic.

“I am delighted that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been so popular with fans since the opening in Orlando last year and I am sure that the teams at Universal and Warner Bros. will bring their expertise and attention to detail to Hollywood to make this new experience equally as exciting,” Rowling said in a press release.

The construction of the park is not scheduled to be completed until 2016!