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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book release: Speed-reading 10-year-old to post first review of new JK Rowling play

Toby L'Estrange will read at a rate of 1,000 words per minute when the script arrives on Sunday

Jess Denham
Thursday 28 July 2016 12:09 BST
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Superfan Toby L'Estrange had read all of the Harry Potter books by the age of eight
Superfan Toby L'Estrange had read all of the Harry Potter books by the age of eight (Amazon)

The first book review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be written by a 10-year-old speed-reading prodigy.

Toby L’Estrange from Wheathampstead in Hertfordshire has been challenged by Amazon to post his critique of JK Rowling and Jack Thorne’s new story shortly after its midnight release on Sunday.

Cursed Child is currently showing as a two-part play at London’s Palace Theatre, with the script coming out so that fans around the world can enjoy it.

Toby can read an average 400-page book in under two hours thanks to techniques taught to him by his speed-reading expert grandmother, Susan Norman. He will start reading at an impressive rate of 1,000 words per minute as soon as the book is delivered to his Kindle.

“Harry Potter and reading are my two favourite things so to be able to combine them is a dream come true,” said Toby. “My little brother Harry is pretty jealous, but he will be able to read all about it in my review which I hope will be the fastest one posted to Amazon.”

Toby, who had read all the Harry Potter books by the age of eight and can recite all of the spells, has been “practising loads” but promises not to “give away any spoilers”. He will go to bed early on Saturday and set his alarm for just before midnight so he is ready when the book becomes available.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the most preordered book in the US since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007, with Waterstones reporting that its UK preorders have already “passed the six-figure milestone”.

Meanwhile, across the country, bookstores will be opening at midnight on the 31st so Harry Potter fans can get hold of the book first thing.

Cursed Child, billed as the eighth part in the Harry Potter series, revisits many familiar characters, including Harry, Ron and Hermione, while also introducing numerous new ones, such as Albus Severus Potter, Rose Weasley-Grainger, and Scorpius Malfoy.

Read our five-star review of the production, which has sold out until May 2017 but is releasing 250,000 more tickets soon.

Quotes courtesy of Press Association

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