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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 July, 2005, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
US boy buys new Harry Potter book
Sylum Mastropaolo
Sylum Mastropaolo bought the book in New York
A nine-year-old boy has returned the latest Harry Potter book to a shop which accidentally sold it to him.

Sylum Mastropaolo, from New York state, bought Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - due for worldwide release on Saturday morning - on Monday.

But after reading a few pages, his parents returned the book to US publishers Scholastic.

Scholastic said the family would be rewarded with Harry Potter goodies.

"We're going to do the right thing," said Sylum's stepfather, Mike Muldoon.

"We don't want to ruin it for other kids and take away from the experience of everyone reading it together."

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI was a cardinal when he passed judgement on Harry Potter

The shop which sold the book said it had been put on display by mistake and that all copies had been removed within an hour.

"As far as I know, he is the only one (in the United States) who has the book," said a spokesman for scholastic.

Meanwhile a letter written by the Pope Benedict XVI when he was a cardinal has revealed his opposition to the Harry Potter books, which he said "deeply distort Christianity".

The letter was written by the then cardinal in response to questions from author Gabriele Kuby, who was writing a book called Harry Potter - Good or Evil?

Book queues

Pope Benedict wrote: "It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly."

In a second letter he gave Kuby permission to make his judgement on the subject public.

The letters have been translated and printed on Lifesite.net, which calls itself a Judeo-Christian and anti-abortion news and information website.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in the wizarding saga, goes on sale worldwide at 0001 BST on Saturday.

UK book chain Waterstone's says it is expecting about 300,000 to queue at its stores for the late night opening on Friday.

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