Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Sugar Creek Gang (Adventurous Audio Books)

Back when my father was a youngster, family entertainment included gathering around the radio to hear dramatized versions of all kinds of stories (With mysteries tending to be the favored genre, from what I've heard). Today the radio tends to be all music or all news/talk (with only the occasional children's/ family programming). Don't these children look sweet? Love their rapt attention!
Today we can approximate the general atmosphere by taking advantage of "Radio Dramatizations" like in "the good old days" by gathering around the cd player or computer (Or listening in the car, but I don't advise that unless you're on a long trip~ stopping mid-track or mid-story might cause a  ruckus) ! :) I recently received a series of these dramatized stories on CD.

Beloved Books has been involved with the manufacture and distribution of Moody Press' Sugar Creek Gang series in audio format since 1998. The TOS Review Crew received Volume 1 of the Sugar Creek Gang Audio books on CD.

Each disc contains 2 stories, and they are each about 2 hours long. The entire collection comprises 6 volumes, 36 stories, and over 70 hours of old-time Christian radio "Adventure Time" listening.

The stories on Volume 1:
The Swamp Robber (Click on the link to be taken to a download of this 1st, complete story for free)
The Killer Bear
The Winter Rescue
The Lost Campers
Chicago Adventure
The Secret Hideout

Our thoughts~
We listened to the first story together (mom, 5 yr old boy, 12 yr old boy, 15 yr old girl), and there were a variety of opinions and reactions.

Eldest~ (Con/Pro?) Felt that the story was a little too intense and perhaps not appropriate for her littlest brother to be listening to. She was concerned about the presentation of the reality of late 30's early 40's drunkenness (very straightforward "This is the way it is" with very little softening. No sheltering in these stories).  This could be considered a positive or a negative, depending on your viewpoint, so worth mentioning.

Middlest~ (Pro!) LOVED the stories~ wanted to listen to them constantly, and was prompted to ask for some good literature that would be similar in scope to read (with themes of fishing, and  adventure, and general boy clubbishness. I'll take suggestions in the comments!) He was highly engaged in the story! He said it put him in mind of stories that would go well with "The American Boy's Handy Book" :)

Youngest~ (Mostly Pro) well... he liked listening, but was a little nervous at times (he's less sensitive than my other two at that age, so that's helpful.... as the youngest). 

Mom~ (Pro)  pleased to find something that sparks Middlest's interest that is wholesome (With the exception of the characters who are in obvious need of redemption), adventurous, and not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. The need for the Gospel, and a respect for the Word of God, redemption and obedience are themes that run throughout the stories more than once. Appreciated the nature themes and poetry woven throughout. LOVE the exercise in using imaginations to picture the kids and the setting. *I* definitely had pictures in my head because of the descriptive language used throughout the stories!

Mom~ (Con) I have also tended NOT to address certain issues (like swearing, and others' drunkeness etc...) unless necessary, so I do tend to agree with Eldest, and might raise my recommendation for suggested age range to  8-12 (Although this could vary greatly, depending on the child), as the way some things are presented may not be quite as "Gentle" as I might want for a younger listener.

Some generic observations(neither pro nor con)~
The descriptions of church and services will be foreign to many children who live in today's urban areas and/or attend more modern "Seeker" churches~ But children growing up in the "heartland" and/or attending more conservative and/or dare I say it old-fashioned churches will be more likely to relate. Some of the phraseology is definitely more old-fashioned.

These will be used in our house mostly for Middlest's listening pleasure, with occasional "Family gathered around the Computer/CD Player" evening. They will also be a "Make sure they're packed" item for any cross-country trips we take in the next 7 or 8 years! :)

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Readers of my blog can use the coupon ACORNS-20 to receive 20% off their entire order! Enjoy! 
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool and/or gift budget.:) (Think Christmas?)
Disclaimer: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Review Crew Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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