April 13, 2021

J.K. Rowling has a new children’s book, ‘The Christmas Pig,’ out in October – USA TODAY

J.K. Rowling has a new children’s book, ‘The Christmas Pig,’ out in October - USA TODAY

NEW YORK — J.K. Rowling has a new book coming this fall, a holiday children’s story with all new characters.

Scholastic announced Tuesday that “The Christmas Pig,” the story of a boy named Jack and a beloved toy (Dur Pig) which goes missing, will be released worldwide Oct. 12.

“But Christmas Eve is a night for miracles and lost causes, a night when all things can come to life … even toys,” according to Scholastic. “And Jack’s newest toy — the Christmas Pig (DP’s replacement) — has a daring plan: Together they’ll embark on a magical journey to seek something lost, and to save the best friend Jack has ever known.”

Rowling is best known for her “Harry Potter” fantasy series, but also has published detective novels under the penname J.K. Galbraith and such children’s works as “The Ickabog.” Her new book will be illustrated by Jim Field.

“The Christmas Pig” is Rowling’s second published work and first children’s book since initially sparking controversy in 2019 over her comments on transgender rights that have been widely condemned as transphobic. She has since doubled-down on her comments, while several “Harry Potter” actors have spoken out against her

More:Do J.K. Rowling’s transphobic comments taint her new book, ‘Troubled Blood’? For me, they do.

J.K. Rowling has a new children’s book, ‘The Christmas Pig,’ out in October - USA TODAY

After facing backlash, Rowling, 54, stood her ground, claiming her life “has been shaped by being female” and defended the exclusionary comments while arguing she still supports transgender people. 

“I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives,” she wrote in a series of tweets. “It isn’t hate to speak the truth … I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”

Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as the title character in the film adaptation of Rowling’s fantasy series, wrote an essay for LGBTQ non-profit organization The Trevor Project in which he criticized her views.

“Transgender women are women,” the actor wrote. “It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”

Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY; and the Associated Press

More:What’s a TERF and why is ‘Harry Potter’ author J.K. Rowling being called one?

And:How trans ‘Harry Potter’ fans are grappling with J.K. Rowling’s legacy after her transphobic comments