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Originally expected to bring in around $100,000, JK Rowling's book “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” instead raised nearly $4 million… in just ten minutes of bidding. It is a price unheard of for a children’s book at auction and forty times what was anticipated.

The book is one of only seven in existence. Rowling gave the first six to friends as thank-you gifts, and the last one was auctioned by Sotheby’s for charity. The books, hand written and illustrated by Rowling, are bound in leather and uniquely embossed with silver and moonstones. “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” is a collection of wizarding fairy-tales alluded to in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book of the Harry Potter series. In The Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore left the volume of tales that provide clues to defeating Lord Voldemort to Harry’s friend Hermione.

The winning bid went to the London painting and drawing dealership Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox. Says Rowling of the record-breaking bid, “I’m stunned and ecstatic. This will mean so much to the children desperately in need of help. It means Christmas has come early for me.”

The Children’s Voice campaign, beneficiary of the proceeds, is run by the Children's High Level Group, founded by JK Rowling and Emma Nicholson in 2005 to “improve the well-being, health and protection of vulnerable children. The Children’s Voice wants to make life better for young people in care; across Eastern Europe and ultimately across the whole of the modern world.”

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