Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review : Heirloom Audio Productions - In Freedoms Cause {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

We spend a lot of time in the car. I love living out of the city. The only downside is the time we spend driving. When our package arrived from Heirloom Audio Productions the kids were excited to see another audio drama. Jam was especially excited when he learned it was In Freedom's Cause Singles Package by G.A. Henty. As I have mentioned before Jam loves Henty (and trying to work through all 122 books) had just finished reading the full version of the story. I was also sent some very cool extras, A study guide, a printable copy of William Wallace's prayer, and a MP3 download of the amazing sound track. Plus a link to a 30 minute documentary talking all about the making of the soundtrack!

So the day it arrived we were literally in the car ready to go to the zoo, when at the last moment Captain ran to empty the mailbox. Of course any package has to be opened straight away, and within seconds my daughter had worked out that the length of the CD was exactly how long our return trip to the zoo was. Before we were even out of the driveway it was playing.


I was very impressed with the line up of actors in this production. While opening the CD the list of familiar names caught my eye; Joanne Froggatt from Downton Abbey, Billy Boyd from Lord of the Rings, Skandar Keynes from the Chronicles of Narnia, Cathy Sara from Women in Black, and James Cosmo from Highlander and Braveheart. You can see the full list here.

I don't know about you but since the invention of the car DVD player sometimes as the driver I feel a little left out. However, with these audio drama's everyone is in the thick of the action, and believe me In Freedom's Cause is full of action. From the first moment it is all go go go. I'm from England - born in Scotland and so my knowledge of this story was quite good. My kids have also studied a lot of English and Scottish history (I mean how could we not). So the story was not new to them. However we had my daughters friend with us and it was completely new to here. Sometimes we would stop the story just to catch her up with what was happening.

This is the story of William Wallace and Robert The Bruce. They are some the main figures in Scottish history - think Braveheart and you would be right. William Wallace lived from 1220 - 1320 he was a minor landowner (not a noble like Robert the Bruce) who became one of the main leaders in the Scottish Wars of Independence. Although he was eventually hung, drawn, and quartered (We learned exactly what that meant during our visit to the Tower of London a few years ago) and his head displayed in London after. You would be wrong to think he was forgotten. Since his death he has obtained hero status far from his homeland. Robert The Bruce took up the fight after the death of William Wallace and was successful for a time and even sent the King of England home in a fishing boat.

This is a war story, with a lot of fighting. Captain handled this very well, but we have listened to a lot of history type stories. However if your child hasn't I would recommend listening to it first. I think the company recommend it from ages 6 and up but again you know your child better than anyone. I always think that books are so much better than videos because you can only visualize what you understand. So a child's image of someone being 'hung, drawn, and quartered' for example is not as gruesome as Hollywood's!

So after our trip to the zoo we spent quite a bit of time discussing the study guide that came with it. The study guide would be best used while listening to the story. However, we use it after the fact. Mainly because as soon as these productions arrive in my mail box they go straight into the CD player and so far they have always arrived just in time for a trip somewhere. Throughout the guide their are excellent website suggestions and of course a ton of vocabulary help. If your children are not used to reading 'Henty' books the vocabulary could be quite hard. Even when we are listening to the book it is sometimes necessary to stop and discuss a word - usually at Captain's request.

Last week we went on a 10 hour trip to Wisconsin. My husband feels the same as I do about listening to books etc when we drive. He is a firm believer that it makes the time go SO much quicker. So without fail I grabbed my two sets of Heirloom Audio Productions and we were good to go. I didn't mind listening to them again and neither did the kids. My husband had heard all about them but had never been on a long enough trip with us (I know sometimes he's sad that most of our field trips are while he's working - but we love him for it.) He loved them. He was impressed with the vocabulary (The study guide is a huge help here). It's hard to believe that they were written for school aged children. I know a lot of college students and adults that would be stumped by some of the vocabulary words - making them even more appealing to me. The stories are engaging and fun. The audio drama productions make you feel like you are watching a movie, or an old BBC production my Mom talks about from her childhood.

We also received a 30 minute documentary about the making of the CD and oh my was it good. It captivated my kids almost as much as the audio drama. It was funny seeing the actors putting so much action and heart into the production. No wonder the audio is so good, the actors worked amazingly hard to put just as much feeling and heart into their performance as they would in a visual production.

As you can tell we are HUGE Henty fans here, and also HUGE fans of Heirloom Audio Productions. If you haven't listened to one of their productions yet you are missing out.

Connect with them on social media to find out more.

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If you love these productions as much as I do you will be pleased to learn that there is another one on the way. I am SO excited because this time it is an American History classic! It's due to be released around Memorial Day!


Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeeAudioDrama

I love how this audio drama gives my kids a real glimpse of history, of real God fearing heroes who truly want to do what they feel is right. To serve God and be better people, who live through their trials with grace and courage. These stories truly leave you with heroes like these.

I love the very last part of the audio drama 

"You are always welcome to return for there are always more stories to be told, and more adventures to be had".

Click on the link below to see what others from the crew thought.


In Freedom's Cause Review
Crew Disclaimer


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