Harry Potter creator JK Rowling was awarded Spain’s Prince of Asturias Concord Prize today “for having helped children of all races and cultures to discover the joy of reading.”
The jury also praised Rowling, whose five books about the orphan wizard have dominated best-seller lists for years, for having encouraged children to “find in Harry Potter’s fascinating adventures a stimulus for imagination and creativity.”
“Rowling’s books also help young people to identify essential values such as the difference between right and wrong, the importance of cooperation and solidarity to overcome life’s problems, in short, ideas which encourage and make understanding and concord between human beings possible,” the jury added.
JK Rowling has sold more than 200 million books, which have been translated into 50 languages.
The Concord award is one of eight Prince of Asturias awards bestowed annually.
Rowling will receive a cash award and a sculpture by Spanish artist Joan Miro from the heir to the Spanish throne, Prince Felipe of Asturias.
Former winners of the Concord Prize, awarded for contributions to international understanding and cooperation, include King Hussein of Jordan and musicians Yehudi Menuhin and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Last year’s joint winners were Israeli conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and US based Palestinian writer and critic Edward Said.