J K Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Bloomsbury) has become the fastest-selling title of 2008 and has raised millions of pounds for children suffering in institutions. More than 2.6m copies have so far been sold worldwide, generating £4.2 million for the Children's High Level Group (CHLG), the charity co-founded by Rowling to help vulnerable children in Central and Eastern Europe. 'I am absolutely delighted that so much money has been raised and would like to thank everyone who has so far purchased a copy of the book,' Rowling commented. 'All royalties will be going to help children without families, many of them with disabilities, whose voices have been unheard for many years.'
Richard Alderslade, Chief Executive of CHLG, said: 'We had no idea what to expect in terms of sales figures so we are thrilled by such impressive sales in the first week alone. Whatever the final total, and we do hope that Beedle stays on top of the bestsellers list for Christmas, the project will certainly raise a huge amount to fund our work, giving hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children across Central and Eastern Europe a better life. Each time someone opens a copy of Beedle this Christmas or gives it as a gift, they will be making a difference to the life of a vulnerable child living not so very many miles away.
'Once again, we'd like to extend our thanks to JK Rowling for her ongoing support and for the wonderful gift of Beedle; not only the beautiful handcrafted copy we auctioned last year, but for allowing us to publish the tales so that people everywhere can enjoy them.'