Monday, September 8, 2014

Heirloom Audio Productions - Under Drakes Flag - {TOS - REVIEW}

We love all books, especially audio books. One of our favorite authors is G.A Henty, my goal is to read or listen to all his books with my kids. So when we had the opportunity to review Under Drakes Flag from Heirloom Audio Productions I was really excited. When I was little we used to listen to a lot of BBC radio productions. They are excellent to listen to while driving (or doing anything really - they make house cleaning almost fun). My kids love audio books but especially dramatized productions.

Under Drake's Flag is the perfect story, full of action, adventure, and honorable heroes. Just the kind of story that my boys love, mind you Boo loved it too.

Every other Tuesday we have a two hour return trip to our old hometown for piano lessons. This two disc CD set which retails at $29.95 arrived the morning of one of these trips. I put it in the CD player the moment we got in the car and within a couple of seconds I knew it was a hit. There was no arguing or 'stop touching me' for the whole journey. I can't say it was silent though there were plenty of... 'Oh No!', 'What's going to happen now!' plus a few other excited shouts.

We had to stop the CD when I dropped my older two off at their piano lessons, they were very concerned that Captain America and I would continue to listen to it without them. As soon as I picked them up they all shouted "Start it again Mom!" and we listened all the way home. It ended just as we pulled in our driveway (perfect timing). Captain America shouted as soon as it finished "I want to listen to it again!"

If you haven't read any of G.A Henty books you are really missing out. He was an amazing man who lived a lot of adventures. He was a war correspondent and traveled the world so he not only wrote about history he lived it too. Of course the best storytellers usually start by telling stories to their families, and Henty was no different. He perfected his stories by telling them to his family and then went on to publish 122 books. These books USED to be essential reading in English schools and believe me you will want your kids to read/listen to these stories. It is a great way to incorporate History in a fun way.

So what is "Under Drakes Flag" about I hear you ask? Henty wrote this book in 1883 and the Heirloom Audio Production  is based on the book. The book tells the story of Ned and Gerald two members of Sir Francis Drake's crew. They go on a lot of adventures; they stand up to a bully, survive a ship wreck, rescue a woman from a shark attack, help slaves gain their freedom, escape religious persecution and then end back up with Sir Francis Drake. They are willing to fight for heroic causes, and die if necessary for their faith.

The CD comes with a small printed abridged study guide. It is full of hints to help you discuss the storyline and the principles it teaches. The full study guide is available as a download. Each of the sections are divided into three parts, Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words. These sections have ideas for discussions or information on introducing the new vocabulary. One of the reasons I love these classics by Henty is the vocabulary that my children learn. I was not disappointed with this dramatic version. It didn't water down any of it, and Captain America learned a lot of new vocabulary. He listened very carefully and then shouted out now and again "Mom, What does ____ mean?" sometimes I tell him and sometimes Jam and Boo help before I can, it's great!

This adaptation is designed for ages 6 to adult but Captain America (5) had no problem following the story. In fact I think we have found a theme for his birthday party next month!

Make sure you check out Under Drakes Flag on Facebook to learn more. It's a great place to learn about upcoming releases. Jam has just finished reading In Freedom's Cause  by Henty and LOVED it. I found out recently that this is the next release. It's the real story of Wallace and Bruce - another story FULL of adventure.

As you can tell we loved this story. We will definitely be listening to it again, and I can't wait to see what other treasures they adapt.

Click on the link below to read what other crew members thought.

Under Drake's Flag Reviews

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