September 25, 2017

G.A. Henty's Adventures Come to Life with Heirloom Audio Productions {Captain Bayley's Heir Review}

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There's nothing like a good adventure story to get kid's excited about learning history. What if that story was an actual audio book? Yes, audio books have been our latest craze! Truth be told, we typically enjoy traditional hard copies, but lately audio books have been really captivating my son and have even grabbed my attention. Recently, we had the chance to listen to one of Heirloom Audio Productions' latest audio adventures, Captain Bayley's Heir.









Heirloom Audio Productions strives to bring Christian history to life for children. Their audio books take an important time in history and couple it with a fictional adventure, but not just any type of fiction. These stories are based on the actual published works of G.A. Henty (George Alfred Henty). Henty had lived an adventurous life, himself, and it is pretty evident he was passionate about living every day to the fullest. The legacy of his stories are now being turned into amazing audio adventures thanks to the efforts of Heirloom. 




Not only do these audio books offer tales that are truley one of a kind, but the amazing storytelling skills from the actors really help enhance each one, getting kids more excited about learning historical events that had taken place. I also personally love that everything is based on building Christian character. So while children get pulled into an exciting, action-packed story, they'll also be learning about God, as well as positive values and morals. 





Captain Bayley's Heir contains two disks with about two and a half hours of story-telling adventures:

  • Chapter 1 – A Grand, American Adventure
  • Chapter 2 – Our Story Begins in London
  • Chapter 3 – Captain Harold Bayley
  • Chapter 4 – The Westminster Boys
  • Chapter 5 – A Real Fight
  • Chapter 6 – Harry’s History
  • Chapter 7 – Dismissal
  • Chapter 8 – America!
  • Chapter 9 – Abe, Rube, and Dickens
  • Chapter 10 – Danger on the Trail
  • Chapter 11 – Indian Attack
  • Chapter 12 – Disquieting News
  • Chapter 13 – The Plot Thickens
  • Chapter 14 – Prospecting
  • Chapter 15 – “Pay Dirt, Gentlemen!”
  • Chapter 16 – Amazing Grace
  • Chapter 17 – The Shootout
  • Chapter 18 – Frank, The Hero
  • Chapter 19 – Investigation and Exoneration
  • Chapter 20 – More Stories to Be Told, More Adventures to Be Had



From the voices, to the amazing music and sound effects in the background–the story is brought to life, almost as if you are watching a movie, but not actually seeing it with your own eyes. With that being said, there is so much detail in the audio, that you really don't need to see it, you can just visualize it in your head. I was especially excited to hear the voice of actor, John Rhys-Davies, as Captain Bayley. I am such a fan of his work, and he has such an amazing voice that's perfect for the character. Some of you may remember his role as Gimli in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, as well as Mordecai in One Night with the King (one of my favorite film adaptations of the book of Esther).



SO WHAT'S CAPTAIN BAYLEY'S HEIR ABOUT? 

The story opens with G.A. Henty telling two young men a tale that begins in Victorian England. Several characters are introduced, young Frank being one of them. Frank is an honest man with a kind heart. His wholesome character is so evident, even the individuals he first meets can immediately pick up on it. When an astonishing turn of events takes place, he is suddenly blamed for a crime he didn't commit. Even though he pleads his case of being innocent, it seems like all fingers point to him. With the threat of being expelled from the prestigious Westminster School and fearing the disappointment of his Uncle (by adoption), Harold (Captain Bayley), he takes the advice of his cousin Fred and decides to flee to America.

It is there that the adventure begins, as Frank experiences life in a new way that he'd never thought he would, even forging new friendships along his travels. First he serves as a deckhand on a Clipper ship–The Mississippi–on his way to America. He proves his worthiness to Captain Bosarge by working hard and even getting the ship out of a bind after a frightful gale. After a long heartfelt talk with Captain Bosarge, Frank knows he has to make his own way now, so he sets his sights on California and the Gold Rush Mining Camps. Along the way, he befriends three cowboys, Abe, Rube, and Dickens who are quite the characters, and even offer a bit of comic relief to the story. Abe ends up teaching Frank a few survival skills, including how to shoot a pistol. As they all journey to the gold mines, they find several road blocks such as an Indian attack and a dreadful encounter with criminals who are trying to rob a family in their horse and carriage.

All the while in England, Captain Bayley, devastated by the turn of events taken place, is trying to wrap his head around what happened and if Frank really committed the crime that he is being accused of. An additional storyline is also incorporated into this portion of the tale, one with an interesting twist that we didn't initially see coming. I won't give anything away for those who have yet to read or listen to this story, but I will just say it's the inspiration to the title of this tale. By the end of Frank's adventure, he will learn many life lessons, including having faith and the amazing power of God's grace. Even those who sin, can seek forgiveness from the Lord and watch Him meet their needs, as long as we remain righteous and keep Christ in our hearts.








BONUS CONTENT:

In addition to the amazing audio book, we also received a membership to the Live the Adventure Club, which offers plenty of tools and resources to help expand our Heirloom Audio Adventures and historical studies. Special access to the Captain Bayley's Heir section, offer unique items to accompany the actual story. We started off by first printing out the Study Guide. 







The guide is set up in different parts, allowing parents the opportunity to present talking points to younger children (which is what we did), while also offering a series of questions and other assignments for older children to complete. The guide is really great, because it takes the audio book to another level, making it an actual homeschool unit study. 



SECTIONS OF THE STUDY GUIDE:

Listening Well: Presents a series of questions about the story and gives children a chance to brush up on their listening skills.

Thinking Further: A second collection of questions that challenges children to conduct further research of various aspects of the story.

Defining Words: A collection of vocabulary words related to the story. Kids can look up these words to gain a better understanding of their meaning and how they connect with the story.


The study guide also include several sections that focus on historical facts and information pertaining to the California Gold Rush and other tid-bits from that period in time, as well as a recommended reading list for further studies on the American West and Victorian England. Of course, one of our favorite inclusions is the three part Bible study in the back of the guide. This study uses character development, as well as the story's plot line to connect everything with Biblical truths.





Having a membership to the Live the Adventure Club doesn't just end with the handy study guide. There's plenty of additional bonus content that's only available for members, including an MP3 download of the audio book, written script to follow along with the story, desktop wallpaper, posters and other artwork, as well as an e-book copy of the original Captain Bayley's Heir by G.A. Henty. One of my favorite items included in the bonus content is the official Captain Bayley's Heir Soundtrack, available to listen to online or as a MP3 download. The original score by composer, John Campbell, is beautiful and such a wonderful piece to have playing in the background during study or quiet time.









I have nothing, but positive things to say about Heirloom Audio Productions. If the rest of their audio books are as wonderful as this (and I've heard that they are), we will definitely be adding more to our collection. While there are a few intense moments in this story that you may want to feel out before letting really young children listen to it, the story as a whole is wholesome and highlights the importance of Christian values. It's also a great way to get children interested in learning about history. Children, teens, and even adults will definitely enjoy the spectacular way G.A. Henty's classic adventure stories are brought to life.





For more information on Heirloom Audio Productions be sure to also connect with them on social media:


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Captain Bayley's Heir {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}

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2 comments:

Brenda Loves Sharing said...

Wow,you sure get a lot of things with this book! My kids always liked audio books because the voices are so much more fun to listen to than mine. I like how there's questions for the older kids and also vocabulary words.

Kelly (Our Everyday Harvest) said...

I bet they would love the audio books from Heirloom, Brenda! You would probably enjoy them, too! They are really good. We definitely plan on picking up more. The Live the Adventure Club membership is especially nice, because you also get a sneak peak at new audio books before they become available to the general public.

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