Shares of book publisher


(SCHL) - Get Report

levitated Tuesday as investors bet on the continued magic of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series with a sixth volume on the way.

Scholastic said Tuesday the best-selling author had delivered her new manuscript, set to be published July 16, titled

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

. It will be the sixth installment of the popular series that has inspired a cult-like following in readers of all ages and three major Hollywood blockbusters.

"We are delighted to announce the publication date. J.K. Rowling has written a brilliant story that will dazzle her fans in a marvelous book that takes the series to yet greater heights," Scholastic said. "

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

delivers all the excitement and wonder of her best-selling previous Harry Potter novels."

The book, which will hit stores in Britain, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, picks up the fantastical story of Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as his evil foe Lord Voldemort's "power and followers are increasing day by day."

Scholastic shares were recently up $1.67, or 4.6%, to $37.57, while shares of major booksellers were also benefiting.


( BGP) added 37 cents, or 1.6%, to $24.07.

Barnes and Noble

(BKS) - Get Report

rose 54 cents, or 1.7%, to $31.39. Also,


(AMZN) - Get Report

was up 37 cents, or 1%, to $39.32.

The fifth book in the series,

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

, was published in 2003 after a three-year hiatus for Rowling. It sold a historic 5 million copies within 24 hours, and investors are hoping for a repeat performance. More than a quarter of a billion Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide in 60 languages.

"I know you all expected this to happen on Christmas Day, but I was sure that those of you who celebrate Christmas have better things to do on the day itself than fight your way into my study, whereas those of you who don't celebrate Christmas would definitely prefer not to wait until the 25th," said Rowling in a message to her fans on her Web site.