Tanya Grotter is the latest literary sensation to sweep across Russia.

Orphaned when her parents are killed by an evil sorcerer, Tanya is raised by foster parents, blissfully unaware of her magical heritage, until one day she is summoned to the wizardry school of Tibidokhs to be trained as a wizardess. Tanya quickly discovers that she has amazing powers, but soon learns to always be on her guard against the forces of the unspeakably evil wizard, Chuma-Del-Tort. Recognizable by the distinctive mark on her forehead, Tanya is quickly becoming the heroine of little Russian kids everywhere.

Sound familiar?

Tanya Grotter is a blatant knock-off of Harry Potter by Russian author Dmitry Yemets. Currently lawyers for J.K. Rowling, her Russian publisher, and Warner Brothers studios are all exploring possible copyright lawsuits against Yemets' publisher, but Yemets claims his books are parody, and therefore are not infringing upon Rowling's intellectual property: "It's not plagiarism, it's a parody, I'm putting the ideas into a Russian context," he says.

Asked why the covers of his books go so far as to immitate Harry Potter's jagged font, artistic style, and image of the protagonist flying through the air between two pillars, Yemets says, "We had to use the same type-face to show people what I was parodying."

But maybe plagiarism ain't all bad - the Tanya Grotter books, which Russian booksellers take care to place right above the Harry Potter books in their stores, are less than half the price of Rowling's versions, and after all, girls need heroes too!

Collect All Three!

The Magic Double Bass
The Disappearing Floor
The Golden Leech

sources: reports by AP, Reuters