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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Twelve publishers turned down the first Harry Potter book; but the seventh volume sold an estimated 11 million copies in 24 hours — the fastest selling book on record. The series has been published in 67 languages, more than any other printed book other than the Bible.

J.K.Rowling believes that all kids should read Dickens and in many ways the two authors are alike. Both experienced hardship; his father was jailed for debt and her mother died young with degenerative multiple sclerosis. Harry is an orphan and Oliver Twist was forced into child labor.

Dickens, who lived to be 58, wrote 20 novels. Rowling, at 45, is prolific and Pottermore, a website, will bring more Harry into living rooms starting on July 31st — creating empathy as “a child liberated from dull, distracted adults.”

Norman Lebrecht, in his Wall Street Journal article, captures the reason for the popularity of Rowlings’ books in “How Harry Saved Reading.”

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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