Friday, September 5, 2014

Review ~ Heirloom Audio Productions - Under Drake's Flag

Analytical Grammar Review
Do you and your family enjoy listening to audiobooks? My kids and I love them, especially on long car trips. I want to share with you a treasure we were blessed to review from Heirloom Audio Productions. It is intended for ages 6 and up, but my 5 year old sat and listened to it as well as the others.  

 They have brought the classic book, Under Drake's Flag  by G.A. Henty to life, complete with music, sound effects, and talented voices.  This is no ordinary audiobook, this is audio theater, and there is a difference! You can listen to the story summary by clicking here and get a taste of how well done this CD is.

If you have ever read a G.A. Henty book then you already know how interesting and well written his stories are. They are full of adventure, good moral character and Christian values. 

This 2 CD set sells for $29.95 and includes 2 full hours of listening pleasure plus a 14 page study guide booklet. You will also receive a downloadable PDF study guide that goes much more in depth than the booklet. 

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Under Drake's Flag takes place in the 1500's when Sir Francis Drake was exploring the world by sea. He became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. A young boy named Ned gets the chance of a lifetime to join the ship's crew.

The story tells of Ned's adventures while traveling on and off the ship. The Spanish inquisition is going on during this time and he also faces the possibility of losing his life for his faith.  They go through some very hard and trying times, yet the hand of God providing and caring for Ned can be witnessed throughout the story. The main point of the story I believe is overcoming your fears through faith in God.

How Did We Use Under Drake's Flag?

The day our set came in the mail I couldn't wait to start listening in. It is a 30 minute drive to our church so I saved it for then. In the meantime I read through the study guide. Included are vocabulary words that I knew would help the kids and me to understand the story better, so we looked those up.

For example, Ned's father was a sailor and lost his life at sea, so Ned's mother was fearful of letting her son go. She does allow him to go however, but before he leaves she gives him the gift of a baselard dagger that belonged to his father.

This was the first time we had ever heard of such a thing, so having words to look up beforehand was very helpful. We were able to imagine more clearly the things being told about in the story.

The study guide also includes questions to discuss for each chapter along with the defining words. The Listening Well section has questions to determine how well your child was listening to the story. The Thinking Further questions focus more on getting your child's opinion about things happening in the story.

I decided not to use these after every chapter, but we did discuss them after hearing the whole story through. There is also a Bible Study section at the end with scripture references to enhance the values this story teaches.

What Did We Think of Under Drake's Flag?

All of us loved the story, but my 11 year old son loved it the most of all. He couldn't wait to share it with his best friend! He is an artist and often draws the things he sees or hears. His artwork revealed how well he saw this story in his mind's eye. (I wish he would let me share with you!)

One night while driving home from church a part of the story was playing where the ship is traveling through a hurricane. There was also a thunderstorm going on that night. The combination of the sounds from the CD and the flashing lights in the sky made the story really come to life for us! My son still talks about that night and how cool is was that God had it happen that way.

We are taking a trip to the beach soon and the kids requested to pack these CD's first! I really hope there are more audio dramas from Heirloom Audio Productions coming in the future!

I highly recommend Under Drake's Flag for its high quality and for the story itself!

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