Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Captain Bayley's Heir




We've been blessed with the opportunity to review the newest audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions. They have produced some of the best audio dramas we have ever heard and always make our family happy to learn history. Our schooling is literature-based, so we're often reading quality writings together that teach life lessons and new vocabulary. For those times though when I can't sit and read to the kiddos, we like to utilize audio books and incorporate them into our schooling and daily life.

We couldn't wait to listen to Captain Bayley's Heir.  


Heirloom Audio Productions has converted multiple historical adventure novels by G.A. Henty into theater-quality audio dramas. Our main curriculum lists many Henty books in the reading list, because they are known for their deep history, rich literature, and exciting plots. So far, my kiddos aren't drawn to the novels themselves, but they are truly captivated by these adaptations. If you close your eyes, you feel as if you're there in the story. The music, the actors, the sound effects--they all make the story come to life. You hear the sound of horses' hooves pounding on the ground, guns shooting, fire crackling, bird chirping, glass breaking, and you feel as if you are there as one of the characters of the story. It is that realistic. The narrator, Brian Blessed, has a rich, powerful voice that makes the drama exciting to listen to. We were immediately pulled into the plot.

The story begins in England in the 1800s. There's a whole cast of characters, but mostly follows the life of 18-year-old Frank. He is noble and generous and well-liked by everyone. After a series of poor choices and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, he was falsely accused of a crime. Before his punishment were to take place, he escaped to America. He experienced much adventure in three years' time. He nearly died in a terrible storm, happened upon a caravan of murdered pioneers, was attacked by 200 Indians, killed a man in self-defense, saved a man's life, found gold, fought to protect strangers, and experienced a miracle. He worked hard and overcame many obstacles. Despite being doubted by many and betrayed by one closest to him, he chose forgiveness. It's a story of grace, forgiveness, and love. Along with the non-stop action and exciting adventures, there are plenty of morals and Biblical truths taught along the way.         


There is a downloadable Study Guide & Discussion Starter that accompanies the story. This complete guide is used to enhance your learning and complement your study. Each section, which correlates to the tracks on the CDs, is  filled with review questions (Listening Well), ideas to get you thinking deeper (Thinking Further), and vocabulary words (Defining Words). There is more information about G.A. Henty, multiple Bible studies that coordinate with the story (God's Grace, Becoming a Christian, Honoring Your Parents), many pictures from the times, and much more historical information. There are Expand Your Learning boxes throughout the study that are filled with snippets of information that relate to the period.

There are many more extras that are included as part of the Live the Adventure Club, too. There is the original Captain Bayley's Heir ebook, the official soundtrack composed by John Campbell, a printable cast poster, an inspirational verse poster, and a downloadable desktop wallpaper. Also as part of the Live the Adventure Club, you gain access to many more features, such as the community forum, daily motivational quotes and stories, hundred of articles about parenting, collection of rare textbooks from the 1700-1800s, and hundreds of fun activities.


The whole family loved this story! Some of the other dramas have been a bit complicated between the story line and accents, but this one was easy to follow. It has a couple surprising plot twists that add to the excitement, too. And that soundtrack? I think it's my favorite from all of the Heirloom Audio dramas! It's so peaceful and calming. John Campbell really did a great job with this one. I've enjoyed playing the music over and over. 

We used the study guide questions to review the story and tackle difficult topics. The kids and I especially enjoyed the sections teaching about Victorian money, the water routes to California, the dangers of the mining camps, and living in the gold fields. Of course, the little ones didn't quite understand everything, but it's never too early to introduce quality literature.

Captain Bayley's Heir is another fantastic resource from Heirloom Audio Productions. We'll enjoy this for years to come. 

  


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You can read more reviews of Captains Bayley's Heir on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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