Thursday, February 26, 2015

Heirloom Audio Productions: In Freedom's Cause (TOS Review)

Some people/children hate audio books (I have one of those), and others LOVE audio books (I have one of those too!), but I think almost anyone, regardless of their previous interaction with audio books would enjoy the productions of Heirloom Audio Productions. Their latest offering by G. A. Henty is about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce (you may be familiar with a "Hollywood-ized" version of the story told in the film Braveheart). I received for review their In Freedom's Cause Single Package, which includes a physical CD set, and three downloadable digital components: a study guide, a soundtrack, and a printable copy of the The Prayer of William Wallace.

First, here's a little bit of information about In Freedom's Cause, straight from Heirloom Audio Productions. This should give you an idea of the quality of this production, with some amazing actors that will surely stir your blood as they did mine:  :) 

The telling of the story does not precisely follow the text of the story, much as a movie screenplay doesn't mimic a novel word-for-word, but with only minor detail changes, holding true to the main points of the story. 

The acting, as demonstrated above, and mentioned, is riveting (and personally, I *love* listening to the accents, as does my son). 

Although the recommended age is 6+, because I tend to have rather more "sensitive" children than some, I assigned this to my 14 yo Middlest for independent use, as he not only enjoys audio books, but is an appropriate age for G.A. Henty stories.  

Here is a screen shot of one of the earlier pages in the study guide to show the image-rich quality of the guide. 

The study guide starts with notes on G.A. Henty, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Following those, the study guide splits the drama into sections as the story changes, and each section comes with three type of questions: 
  • The Listening Well~ or as Charlotte Mason fans might otherwise term it, Narration: what do you remember? 
  • The Thinking Further ~ digs a little deeper, including discussing character and motivations in addition to some more concrete lessons like the map-work illustrated above.
  • The Defining Words~ Vocabulary 
At the end of the study guide there are three Bible studies, a historical note, and a reading list for older students and adults. Personally I would suggest going through or at least introducing the Bible Study themes before listening to the story, so that the themes presented are more at the forefront as you and/or your student/child listen to the story.

Middlest's thoughts~ the audio book was most excellent to listen to~ he appreciated that there were multiple actors, not just one person narrating the entire story. Because of the variety of characters, having different voices made it much easier to follow the story. Middlest was impressed with how he could really hear and feel the emotions of the characters. The only tricky bit was learning to "hear" some of the vocabulary words through the accents. While he wouldn't change a thing about the actors and their accents, he would have liked a written "Script" to follow along with, to make it easier to catch some of the words, or to make it easier to go back and find some of the answers in the study guide. 

If you are interested in, or would like to develop an interest in history and the connection of the over-arching story of God's love and provision for the world, you may like to check out this audio drama. Heirloom Audio Productions also has a webpage Live the Adventure, with resources for In Freedom's Cause, and their other productions Under Drake's Flag, and the upcoming With Lee in Virginia.
Social Media Links for Heirloom Audio Productions In Freedom's Cause:
Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest

You can find information on Heirloom Audio Productions Upcoming release  (Due near Memorial Day) With Lee in Virginia at the following Social Media Outlets:
 FacebookGoogle+, and  Twitter

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
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