Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Captain Bayley's Heir (Another Fantastic Heirloom Audio Production)Review)

Following fast on the heels of my most recent Heirloom Audio Productions review of In The Reign Of Terror, is this review of their newest title, Captain Bayley's Heir. This story mainly follows the adventures of a young English lad named Frank Norris.  Frank is falsely accused of theft, and upon his notion that his guilt is believed true by those closest to him (due to extreme circumstantial evidence), he heads to America, and California's Gold Rush Country. His hope is to return a rich man, with the ability to prove his innocence.  It also traces the circumstances of Frank's family~ his Uncle, Captain Bayley,  his cousin, Fred Barkley, and his "adopted cousin," Alice Hardy as events occur back in England.

As to the title~ there is some question throughout the story as to WHO, exactly is (or will be) Captain Bayley's heir, but you'll have to get nearly through the entire story to find out the answer to that question. ;)

So, to backtrack a tiny bit, if you haven't read any of my previous Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews, I received in the mail a 2 disc CD audio production (Radio Drama-style) of G. A. Henty's story Captain Bayley's Heir. Along with the physical CD, I was given access to the Live the Adventure Club Website, which offers bonus materials to go along with the CD, plus a whole lot more.

Live the Adventure Club is a unique subscription service. It offers:
  • Three physical products shipped to your door per year (New Henty Audio Dramas, as they are produced)
  • Educational Treasures and Teaching Resources which include Study Guides produced for those CDs, as well as History and Grammar Textbooks from the 1700s and 1800s
  • The Ability to Stream over 500 Old-Time Radio Shows
  • Listen and Learn Read Along Program
  • Daily Inspiration and Devotionals
  • Hundreds of Fun activities and Games
  • Full Access to Live the Adventure Radio
  • Community Forum to exchange ideas and tips
I will mention right here that there is a 3-Month Free Club Trial being offered (at the time of posting) with a deeply discounted $1.00 purchase of the 2-CD set of Captain Bayley's Heir, as well as $20 worth of Adventure Credits to use in their online store. That seems like one of those deals that is too good to pass up, in my opinion. ;) Be sure to check that out after you read the rest of my review. 

Now, I want to tell you a bit more about the Adventure club features as they relate specifically to the Audio Dramas. 

There are some online options for younger listeners that include coloring pages, word-searches, and other activities that relate to the time period of various audio drama productions. The word-searches can be completed online, or downloaded and printed. The letters can be reduced or enlarged in size to suit your child's needs. That's pretty cool attention to detail! 

Coloring Pages
The Listen and Learn Along Program offers the ability to listen to each chapter of audio while reading along with the script (With each word highlighted as spoken in the color of your choice). 

Following the audio portion, your child can then take a listening/reading comprehension quiz to earn points towards an adventure badge. There are also more questions that offer the opportunity to think more deeply about the text, and what the character's motivations are, or what they might be thinking to cause them to act in a certain way, or say certain things. 

At the end of those deeper questions you will find a number of vocabulary words that are defined as you mouse over them. Sadly, I couldn't capture a screenshot while mousing over, but it does work nicely. ;)

This portion of the website is the multimedia version of the pdf Study Guides that I've mentioned in the past. These are still available as part of the Educational Treasures found on the website, if you prefer to have something to print and bring with you, or if you have limited internet access, are traveling, or what have you. Here are some screenshots of the pdf study guide.

The study guide still includes the comprehension questions (Listening Well), the digging deeper style of questions (Thinking Further), and the vocabulary words (Defining Words). It also includes some other interesting tidbits that Expand Your Learning with information that correlates to the story. At the end of the study guide you will find a list of extra reading resources for further expansion on the historical time presented, as well as 3 Bible Studies That focus on some of the themes in the story. In Captain Bayley's Heir the Bible studies are about:

  • God's Grace
  • Becoming A Christian
  • Honoring Your Parents

They each include a number of statements, followed by Scriptures that back up those statements, and can provide a good opportunity for discussion.

This brings up something else~ in my last review I mentioned that I was disappointed that the ability to download the mp3s of the Audio Dramas was no longer an option, as that made it more difficult for my son to listen to the audio while traveling. I am happy to report that they are once again available as a downloadable zip file, and I appreciate that as the convenience it truly is. 

I am happy to say that this audio drama has lived up to my previous expectations, and the Live The Adventure Club as I mentioned, is a unique product, that I expect will be enjoyed by many households due to the vast number of resources and value that it offers.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
  • Company: Heirloom Audio Productions
  • Product: Captain Bayley's Heir
  • Ages: 6-adult (Publisher's age) 10-Adult (my age recommendation)
  • Price: As mentioned above, Heirloom Audio Productions is currently offering a $1.00, 3 month trial ~ (After the trial period is up the plan charges $24.97 every three months, and guarantees that three new physical CD sets will be sent three times per year as they are produced) this gives you the 2 CD set of their newest title Mr. Bayley's Heir and access to many MORE resources including the bonus features mentioned above.
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