The British writer hit the headlines last week (end27Nov16) when she generously sent copies of her wizarding novels to Bana Alabed, a seven-year-old who lives in Aleppo, a city devastated by Syria's ongoing civil war.

Bana has become something of a social media phenomenon with more than 130,000 users following her Twitter account, which she and her mother Fatemah use to document what it's like living in a city under fire.

In a series of distressing posts on Bana's account from Sunday to Monday (27-28Nov16), Fatemah asked followers to pray for her family as their home had been destroyed by bombing. Rowling retweeted the messages to her own followers.

"The army got in, this could be our last days sincerely talking. No Internet. Please please please pray for us.- Fatemah," one post read, with another stating, "Last message - under heavy bombardments now, can't be alive anymore. When we die, keep talking for 200,000 still inside. BYE.- Fatemah."

In a later tweet signed by Bana, which the author again relayed to her fans, the family revealed they had survived the bombing attack but had lost their home.

"Tonight we have no house, it's bombed & I got in rubble. I saw deaths and I almost died. - Bana," the tweet read. Fatemah later confirmed to BuzzFeed that she, Bana and her two brothers were safe but had been "almost killed" in the bombings.

The Alabed family's correspondence with the children's author began when Fatemah reached out to Rowling online to say that her daughter and other children in Aleppo had been watching the Harry Potter films to distract themselves from the bombings and were interested in reading the books.

The 51-year-old writer was moved by the message and sent Bana electronic copies of all the books in the franchise.

Bana's mother shared her gratitude with the author on Twitter, writing, "Thank you my friend Jk Rowling for the books", to which J.K. responded, "Thinking of you, keep safe #Aleppo."