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Monday, September 25

Captain Bayley's Heir (review)

Heirloom Audio Productions produces wonderful professional audio dramas that bring history to life for the entire family.   As a travelling family, we enjoy listening to audiobooks regularly, and we have been long time Heirloom Audio enthusiasts.  We had the chance to review Captain Bayley's Heir, along with its study guide and bonuses, and it was an aural delight! 

It’s based on the G.A.Henty book – Captain Bayley's Heir – in which Frank Norris, accused of theft and unable to prove his innocence, leaves for excitement and adventure in the California gold fields of 1850s America. He sails the Atlantic, braves a storm while working as a barge man on the Mississippi, survives an Indian attack while crossing the plains with a caravan, strikes it rich in the California gold mines, and is finally able to clear his name and return to England to claim his rightful inheritance. 

While we expected most of the book to be set in America during the 1850s, we were surprised to find that over half of it is set in England.  It is a story of God’s grace, of honoring our parents, and of learning forgiveness.  There were many twists and surprises that kept us guessing how it would all end!

G. A. Henty was a prolific author in the 1800s who wrote many books in the historical fiction genre. Henty wrote about true historical characters and events, and added a fictional young person to the narrative.  Henty’s books are about men being men, and boys learning to be men. This is stated to be for ages six through adult, but my youngest was still a bit confused on some of the details, so occasionally we’d stop the story and talk about it.

We are history lovers around here, so reviews like this are exciting for our entire family. Listening to the two-CD set in the car was a simple thing for us, and it's ideal for giving a richer understanding of history.  We listened to this audiobook right after returning from a trip to California – where we checked out historical Sutter’s Fort and learned a bit about the California Gold Rush.  What a way to get back in the moment!  
  
Heirloom Audio Productions are very professionally done - both the acting and the background work - and are a delight to listen to…even the one child that usually steers away from audiobooks was loving it!  As we own every Heirloom book, my boys have figured out their ‘pattern,’ and take great pleasure in being the first to guess what the next release will be.  Our clue at the end of this book was “Battle of Hastings…”  Can you guess what the next one will be?  (Scroll down, if you’re just not up to guessing.)
The Live the Adventure Club offers many exclusive extras to augment your listening experience, including a soundtrack, a follow-along e-book, and chapter quizzes and activities.  There are also coloring pages, crossword puzzles, hands-on crafts, and a poster.  The parents’ section of the page offers up daily inspiration, educational supplements, podcasts, movie reviews, and background information on G.A. Henty.  
One of the biggest educational assets of the Live the Adventure Club is the Study Guide & Conversation Starter.  It has forty pages of chapter-by-chapter comprehension questions, discussion starters, and vocabulary words.  Also included is some map work, details of this historical era, and three Bible study guides that focus on the main character morals of the story.
Finally, the Club hosts several old textbooks (we're talking 18th and 19th century old) and Old-Timey radio shows.  The radio shows were a wonderful surprise to stumble upon as our family LOVES listening to the Radio Classics channel!  (The image above is all of the shows just under the WWII heading...and there are many more topics!)

Captain Bayley's Heir is an audiobook we'll listen to many times, and we're excited to see that Heirloom has more productions in the works. Not only are your kids learning to love history, but they're also discovering the strong moral character that drove great men to do extraordinary things.

See what others are saying about Captain Bayley's Heir at the Homeschool Review Crew!
Crew DisclaimerCaptain Bayley's Heir {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
*Wulf the Saxon
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