Sylum Mastropaolo, 9, from upstate New York state, for a time was the only possessor of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, currently tightly under wraps until the publication date of July 16.
Young Sylum bought the book from a store that mistakenly put it on display for less than an hour on Monday. “As far as I know, he is the only one [in the United States] who has the book,” said a spokesman for US publishers Scholastic. Fourteen books were “inadvertently” sold in Canada.
However, after he had read but a few pages, the lad’s parents returned the eagerly awaited sixth book in the Potter series to Scholastic, which said the family will be rewarded with Potteresque swag.
“We don’t want to ruin it for other kids and take away from the experience of everyone reading it together,” said Sylum’s stepfather, Mike Muldoon.
Was this a test? Does Mastropaolo inherit the chocolate factory? Inquiring minds want to know.