Emily Waldo was just a 10-year-old Nebraska student when she wrote to the novelist for a school project, in which pupils asked stars to write from the perspective of their footwear.
She was stunned when Rowling sent her a pair of well-worn black boots she had worn while drafting Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as well as her handwritten response to Waldo’s “shoe questionnaire”.
Waldo, now 22, explains, “I walked into the school office where there was a package addressed from England with about eight stamps in the corner. I knew exactly what it was. I vividly remember skipping up the steps to my classroom with a smile from ear to ear. I couldn’t believe it. I had the author of Harry Potter’s boots!
“I read the questionnaire aloud but her handwriting was a little difficult for me to decipher. And it took me years to understand how witty it actually was. I am indebted to J.K. Rowling for providing me with an experience that has enriched my life.”
Waldo is now selling off the shoes and plans to use the funds to help pay for her college education, while also donating some of the money to her former school and a cancer charity.