Thursday, July 21, 2016

Beric the Briton {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

Years ago, all three of my children would listen to audio books as we traveled to Lauren's appointments. Nowadays, it's generally just Lauren and me going to appointments, and we rarely listen to audio books. For our most recent road trip, however, I packed Beric The Briton, a new audio adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions.

Interestingly, I looked back a few years on my blog and found my review of Under Drake's Flag also by Heirloom Audio Productions. We listened to it on a vacation road trip to Colorado in the summer of 2014, roughly a year before we moved to Colorado Springs.

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review
Many homeschoolers sing the praises of G.A. Henty and his series of historical adventure stories that were originally popular in the late 1800s. So far, I haven't read any of his books -- I've just listened to them as audio productions. I am impressed with the way that G.A. Henty develops strong characters with morals worth imitating.

Heirloom Audio Productions bring these fabulous stories to life with professional actors presenting the dialogue, dramatic sound effects building suspense, and a rich soundtrack conveying the appropriate setting.  These CDs were more than just an audiobook; it was two-and-a-half hours of exciting entertainment as we followed along with Beric's adventures.

I popped the first CD for Beric the Briton into my car without even reading the back of the case. The story opens with tales of Beric in Brittania during a time when Rome ruled. When Nero was mentioned in the first few chapters, I perked up a little bit. I remember very little of my ancient history lessons, but I do recognize that name. As the story progresses, Beric defends his homeland, is taken to Rome as a prisoner, trains as a Gladiator, and eventually serves Emperor Nero. I was excited to hear more about Nero and also about Christus (Jesus Christ) and Paulus. I had not realized that we would learn some Biblical history and hear the gospel in this story.

All five of us enjoyed listening to this audio dramatization on our road trip. Addison particularly praised the foreshadowing when Beric's friend Bodouc offhandedly mentions that he'd never like to see Rome, but he wouldn't mind seeing Rome burn. The suggested age range for this adventure is six and up, but Lauren found it a bit difficult to keep up with the story line. (Disclaimer: she struggles to keep up with many books, and this one was a bit more difficult because she didn't have a good basic understanding of the historical events that were unfolding.)

In addition to the CDs that we listened to in the car, I also received access to a set of digital extras. The most impressive portion of these extras is a fifty-page study guide that corresponds to the audio drama. The guide includes biographical information on the two major historical figures in the story -- Emperor Nero and Queen Boadicea of Brittiania. It also includes questions for each chapter of the story. Some questions require the listener to just remember facts from the story, but others require thinking critically about the events. The next time we listen to this drama, I will stop after every chapter and discuss the questions with Lauren in the hopes that she'll be able to keep the action straight and understand what's going on. The digital extras also includes a printable poster, an MP3 version of the Soundtrack, and a full copy of the original book by G.A. Henty.

Beric the Briton was a great addition to our latest road trip and would be a great addition to any homeschool library.

The two-CD set of Beric the Briton costs $29.97 and includes the digital extras. If you'd prefer a digital copy of the audio drama, you can download it for $19.97 (including the study guide and printable poster).

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review

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1 comment:

  1. I'm glad it surprised, I've read lots of good things about how heirloom retains the Christian themes found in the Henty books.



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