Iowa kids eagerly awaiting the June release of the next Harry Potter book might be surprised to learn the upcoming novel has its roots in a book that’s 3,000 years old. A lecture for young people tomorrow in southeast Iowa will discuss the many modern links to the ancient work called “Ramayana”, which is of the same importance to people in India as “The Odyssey” is to the Western world. Michael Sternfeld of Fairfield is organizing what he says is a multi-media, multi-cultural presentation targeting kids in grades three through six. What they can relate to, Sternfeld says, isn’t just about the quest and slaying the dragon, there’s something that happens inside — the heroes grow up, mature, become more powerful and know who they are. He says the presentation focuses on how modern tales like “Star Wars,” “The Lord of the Rings” and the Harry Potter books all draw from the same themes as this very old epic. Sternfield says there will be dramatic readings, comparisons of film clips and guest appearances by some of the heroes themselves. The presentation begins at 2 P.M. at the Fairfield Public Library. He says it’s important for young people to learn they too can become heroes in the real world. Young students see their heroes, like Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker and Frodo and want to grow up to be like them. Sternfeld says “that innocent desire is like a seed that can eventually grow into an expanded mission or direction in life…The key point is that everyone, no matter how large or small their stature, has a unique calling, a hero’s quest that’s awaiting them.” Sternfeld is producing Ramayana in audio form in Fairfield, in what he says will become the longest-ever audio book in history. When complete, it will run about 75 hours. For more information, call 888-867-4396 or surf to “www.ramayanaudio.com”.
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