Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Captain Bayley's Heir by Heirloom Audio Productions ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

When I see a review for one of my favorite vendors pop up, I know it's not going to disappoint! This time we go on another wild adventure in Captain Bayley's Heir by Heirloom Audio Productions.

I think every single time I listen to an audio production from Heirloom Audio I say, "That was my favorite!" Not long after, I will get new one and it will also be my favorite. The stories are the type that keep you on the edge of your seat with quality family entertainment.

If you have never had the pleasure of listening to an audio drama from Heirloom Audio, then let me tell you a little bit about them. What they do is recreate the stories from the legendary story teller, G.A. Henty. Mr. Henty was a war correspondent, a big guy with an even bigger beard, and he lived for adventure. His passion comes through in every story he tells. He loved to share his stories with his friends and family, and throughout the years, he went on to write 122 books! This is where Heirloom Audio comes in. They take these beautifully told stories, and turn them into adventures that come alive as you listen to them. I am an avid reader, and I also listen to a lot of audio books. These audio dramas are completely in a league of their own. They are not your average audio book. These are brought to life with award winning actors, amazing sound effects, and the beautifully written sound track that goes along with it. As soon as you start listening, you enter the world of G.A. Henty, and his love for adventure is brought to life.

I want to talk a little about all of the different components that we received for this review. First off we got the 2 CD set along with the extra digital download features.

Captain Bayley's Heir Adventure Playlist ~ This is how you are able to listen online, or download it and listen to it on your phone. We have used this feature many times, and love to have the option.

Captain Bayley's Heir E-book ~ This is the original e-book, but with all new colorful graphics.

Official Soundtrack ~ Original music by Emmy-winning composer John Campbell

Printable Cast Poster ~ Printable promotion poster featuring the star studded cast

Inspirational Hymn Poster ~ I love this, especially since this book is built around one of our favorites, Amazing Grace.

Desktop Wallpaper Download ~  A stunning wallpaper for your computer.

Study Guide and Discussion Starter ~ This is an amazing extra that gives you the ability to turn this into more than just something to listen to. When we listen to this as a family, I like to have the study guide pulled up on my phone or computer. You could definitely print it out if you wanted to, because it is so beautiful and colorful. It would be nice to have a notebook devoted to all of the study guides. That way they would be easily accessible.

The study guide starts off by telling you about G.A. Henty, and a little bit about Heirloom Audio Productions. It is then broken down by every CD and track number. This makes it easier to stop the drama, and talk about each chapter. I love to use this with my kids because it makes them pay better attention to it. They start listening for details because they know they are going to have some questions about each chapter or track.

There are several different parts to the study guide.

  • Listening Well ~ These are to ask your students what they've heard or learned throughout the chapter.

  • Thinking Further ~ These are a little bit more in depth and will get your students thinking about things such as drawing conclusions to character's actions. These are great for older students.

  • Defining Words ~ This is based on vocabulary words throughout the story. This is my kids favorite part! We go over what they think certain words mean, and then what they really mean if they don't know. 

At the end there is not one, but TWO Bible studies that are included! This is a fantastic extra that talks about God's grace, and becoming a Christian. They go above and beyond with their study guides!

One last thing I want to talk about is the new feature called Live the Adventure Club. This club adds even more fun to your listening adventure that includes different resources and other kids activities to go along with the stories.

Now this brings us to what Captain Bayley's Heir is all about. Amazing Grace. This story encompasses those words.

We start our adventure with our favorite narrator, Mr. George. He's writing a letter to his friends Ned and Gerald while on a train ride to the gold fields of California where he's conducting research for his new book, Captain Bayley's Heir. He even hired a wagon and driver so that he could experience exactly what those pioneers went through. His driver turns out to be a young and ambitious 18 year old boy who has already started his own company with a horse and wagon. He knows that Mr. George is a writer, so they start talking about it. He even tells him that he's thought about writing a book. He then asks Mr. George to tell him his story, and that's where it all begins.

It starts in England where we are introduced to Frank Norris, an 18 year old carefree kid, who is friendly to everyone. We quickly learn exactly what kind of person Frank is when he dives into icy water to rescue a dog from drowning. Harry, the dog's owner is extremely grateful, and wants Frank to come to his house and meet his parents. You will learn more about him later.

Soon after we are introduced to Captain Bayley. He is a robust and loud man who on the surface seems pretty intimidating. After learning a bit about why he is the way he is, his personality starts to make more sense. He has made some mistakes and now has to pay for them.

While Frank is attending school he sneaks out with his friends to attend a meeting of rebels who despise Brittain all because they want to see a real fight. The problem is this is completely against school rules. They end up getting into a fight and Frank breaks someone's nose. Next thing he knows, he's being told that unless he pays him 10 pounds then he will be turned in and inevitably kicked out of school. While Frank is stressing over this and telling his friends, someone anonymously leaves a 10 pound note on his desk. The problem is that he doesn't know where it comes from, and is accused of stealing it. This is where Frank's life is completely turned upside down.

Frank decides in an effort to clear his name that he is heading to America. He takes a ship called the Mississippi where he meets his new boss Hiram. Here he learns what it means to work hard, and what it's like to face treacherous storms! Frank is living one adventure after another. He ends his journey with Hiram to head to California to look for gold! Along the way he meets some cowboys that also teach him about the Pioneer journey, how to fight the Indians, and also the most important lesson on God's grace. He goes through many hard ships along the way, and in the end it only makes him stronger. In the three years that Frank is gone from England he is introduced to not only the hymn Amazing Grace, but also what it means to be unconditionally loved by God and actually have His amazing grace poured upon him.

As you can tell, we always love these books. Along with a wonderful story, they also give you so much more to think about. If you are looking for something different to add to your collection, I highly recommend Captain Bayley's Heir by Heirloom Audio Productions. You won't be disappointed!

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