Potter Author Wins Spanish Honor

Boston Celtics' great Bill Russell, left, holds a corsage sent to the dressing room as he celebrates with Celtics coach Red Auerbach after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 95-93, to win their eighth-straight NBA Championship, in Boston on April 29, 1966.
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"Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling was awarded Spain's Prince of Asturias Concord Prize on Wednesday "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 bestseller 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.

J.K 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 of $56,000 and a sculpture by Spanish artist Joan Miro. The prizes are presented in the northern city of Oviedo each fall by 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 U.S.-based Palestinian writer and critic Edward Said.