My hope is that you are already well aware of Heirloom Audio Productions and their efforts to bring G.A. Henty’s stories alive with star studded casts, and extremely well done family radio theater. I am super stoked that our family was able to review Beric The Briton during the month of June.
When signing up for the review someone mentioned that this story was part Braveheart and part Gladiator. Although these might not be my favorite movie themes, they are two of the most loved movies by my husband and teen boys.
We listened to The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty’s Beric the Briton on two CD’s in the car. You know it is a good story, engaging from the beginning, when headphones don’t immediately go into the ears of the teens.
The music is so engaging, the voices are professional, and the entire set up of listening creates a picture in your mind – instead of seeing the road to Portland, you are transformed to Rome, on an adventure that doesn’t involve I-5 traffic.
For homeschoolers, or folks who like to have literature discussions – Heirloom Audio Productions brings the lessons of history to life, with the intent of building character into the next generation. We received a bonus bundle that really helps the teacher!
- Beric The Briton MP3 Download
- Beric The Briton Printable Cast Poster
- Beric The Briton Behind The Scenes Documentary
- Live the Adventure Letter
- Inspirational Verse Poster
- Live The Adventure Letter Website & E-Newsletter
The MP3 Options are great to have both the story and the soundtrack on a device to take anywhere. We listen to these as a family, like watching a movie, however, you may want your student to listen to one track per day as part of his history curriculum.
If that is the case, you’ll be glad to see that the Study Guide is available and, as in each new production, only gets better!
From the simple joys of recipes, extra interesting facts, and links to further study the geography or era, like a click to visit Rome – to the details helping you to really teach the literature side of the story.
These are the words of G.A. Henty from an era gone by with a rich vocabulary. When can you use words like estate, immaculate, villa, civil servant, rabble rouser, vindicate, appease, din, embers, ambitious, boulevard, sprawling estate, urgent, deflecting, municipal, or stifle in an ordinary sentence with your students? They develop a picture in their mind of what these are while listening to the story. If you skipped over them in the listening, the study guide pulls out 5-6 words per track for you to study further.
One thing that was different in this story than the ones we have experienced before, is that none of the characters are Christians. I thought it was odd that they were all fighting for justice and living well and doing the right thing – but didn’t mention a strong Christian faith as the reason for the adventure as in the other books.
I think it isn’t until the second disk that it came to me as to why. Christos and Paul were in the story! Beric had to come to the realization that the Briton and Roman gods were not really gods. He got to hear first hand how Julius was converted by Paul! The study guide brings us to Acts 26 where Paul talks of his experience with Agrippa. In the conversions, written in this time frame – it mentions that baptism is required for salvation. Depending on your doctrine – this may be a great point of conversation discussion what Baptism represents to different cultures and denominations, and your church body and personal family beliefs.
As we are gearing up for a new school year, I am on the lookout for good aids for Literature Study Guides. This is not my natural area. Put me in a forest or near the ocean shore and I can ask questions for hours. When I read a book – I soak it up, and move on. I need help! I love the types of questions asked in the Study Guide to help me:
- What does the chamberlain think of himself?
- What does he think of those around him?
- What does Nero think of him?
- Could this lead to some problems? Why?
- Nero says that he is “not a god from on high.”
- Was he always this humble?
- Nero calls Beric his “equal.” Do you think he really believes this?
- Why or why not?
- One of the oldest military units in the world today is the Papal Swiss Guard. These Swiss soldiers act as bodyguard to the pope. In earlier times Swiss soldiers served in a number of European courts. Why should popes and kings (like Nero) hire soldiers who come from foreign lands?
- Defining Words- camberlain unkempt exotic illustrious resolute
If you have teens who would rather adventure than read books about adventure, these audio productions may be a perfect fit to your family. You’d have the assurance that they would be engaged in the story, and you’d have the tools to bring it into true literature study.
Another aspect we were introduced to, as part of the bonus package is the Live The Adventure Letter Website & E-Newsletter. From what I can tell it is a regular website, not a password protected site. I like what I have seen so far, as they bring Christian history to life, providing articles and lessons that may spark learning and adventures in your own home! I see that they had several lessons during the Independence Day weekend, and there is an article now about making your own Roman coins.
The ages for the stories say from 6 to adult. One thing I would suggest that we learned early on, listening to Audio Stories takes a different type of muscle. Start with small chunks, 5-10 minutes, and then pause. Don’t jump immediately into the Study Guide with younger children. Let them hear the sounds, make remarks about what they heard, in the music and sound effects. Do they recognize any of the voices? John Ryhs-Davies is from Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones, Cathy Sara is from Downton Abby, Tom Baker is from Dr. Who, Brian Cox is from The Borne Identity and Braveheart, and Brian Blessed is from Star Wars, Tarzan, and Robin Hood – so they might think they ‘know’ the character but not be able to place them. Grow slowly in the listening. They will ask for more if you turn it off too soon, and you’ll know the listening muscle is growing. My boys have listened to Audio tapes since they were tiny, and can now listen to the entire two CD story in one sitting like a movie.
Want to see more?
Beric The Briton
The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty series Facebook.com/TheExtraordinaryAdventuresOfGAHenty
Heirloom Audio Productions
Many of our crew listened and shared their experience – click the banner below to see how they enjoyed it and used this product with their families. In case I didn’t make it clear – We ALL seriously enjoyed – not only the production quality and extras – but the story. It was so engaging, and like the big box office hits, you forget to breathe, and you are fighting in your heart for the characters, and you are on the edge of your seat!! It’s 2 and a half hours of adventure that we seriously enjoyed!