Bringing Henty Back {Homeschool Review Crew}

Bringing Henty Back

Homeschool Review Crew

I’ve long been a fan of the G. A. Henty Books and love that the Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back in the form of audio dramas.  Their latest release is in our home and already well loved!  We’ve been listening to Captain Bayley’s Heir and can’t get enough!!

We received a physical CD in the mail.  With our CD we also received online access to the digital components.  This is a study guide and Live The Adventure site.  You can receive access to all these fun digital bonuses by being a member of the Live the Adventure club.  The CD can still be purchased without a membership but the bonuses won’t be accessible.  Along with the study guide and discussion starter you will also find online quizzes and even a way to listen to the audio from your account.  

The online version of the audio drama also comes with a script that you can read and follow along with.  This is very neat and would be amazing if you have a child who learns best by reading or more than one learning style.  An ebook copy of the original book can also be downloaded and read from the Live The Adventure Club.  Other extra include the soundtrack, cast poster, inspirational poster, and desktop wallpaper.  Lots of great items to be had from their online account!

Being out in the middle of nowhere(at least away from big cities) is amazing at times.  Other times it’s not the best.  Like when you have an hour trip to get to a big grocery store or dance etc etc.  That’s our story!  We love audio dramas for this reason.  They make our journey shorter or at least seem that way.  When that CD starts playing we all become engrossed in the story and boom here we are and no one wants to turn it off!

About the Story

Bringing Henty Back


G. A. Henty wrote Captain Bayley’s Heir in 1889.  I love that old books can still be relevant today and I love that Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back for a new generation to enjoy in a new form.  While I still try to find the books in hard format so we can read them as well having them on a CD to listen to is amazing.

This story follows Frank as he leaves England to come to America during the gold rush.  Not only does he sail across the Atlantic Ocean but he also crosses the continent of America to get to California for the gold rush.  His story is woven through great writing on G A Henty’s part but also by great voice acting from the cast.  They’re amazing and really make you feel like you’re there with Frank as he faces great challenges.  There are also “flashback” type scenes where you get to go and see what is happening in England while he is away.

I love the voice of Brian Blessed as Henty.  He adds so much depth to the story just with his voice.  It’s amazing.  As he narrates the story and helps bring the characters to life we learn lessons that we won’t soon forget.

I love the story line. How many of us can say we’ve never been accused of doing something wrong?  Poor Frank can’t.  He was accused of stealing money.  Rather than face the accusations and humiliation, because yes we can all agree this would be so utterly humiliating, he runs off to America.  That alone is a great place to talk with my kids about what to do when someone accuses us falsely of something.  

Frank is foolish to run off and not tell his Uncle or friends where he is off to.  I used this as a chatting point with my children of how worried I would be if they ever did this and how people would definitely be sad and distraught.  We talked about how Uncle(Captain Bayley) must have felt and how Alice probably felt betrayed.  

Frank is a kind hearted boy who is very willing to help others.  Even though he makes mistakes he tries his best to do what is right and just.  After helping a fellow Englishman and his son Frank sends them with a message for his Uncle and Alice.  Although it takes them a long time to receive the message they are overjoyed and off quickly to find Frank.  They of course arrive just in the nick of time as Frank was wounded in a fight(yes there is violence).

Plot twist!  Captain Bayley has an heir.  Of course you knew that right from the title?  His heir is his daughter who married a man he didn’t approve of and all contact was lost.  Realizing that he was wrong to forbid her having her love and that he wants to make amends Captain Bayley sets off to find her with the help of Alice.  This is why it took so long for them to get Frank’s message.  It’s too late for Captain Bayley to make amends with his daughter as she has passed away but she had a son who he can now connect with.  

Happy endings all around.  Well.  Not fairy tale happy but real life stuff happens and life is messy type endings.  

Our Thoughts

As always we loved the cast!  One reason of course is that my whole family are suckers for a good accent!  We love them!  When my cousins come over from England my kids are all talking like little British kiddos for about a month after they leave.  It’s easy to pick up.  So of course we love hearing the accents on the audio dramas as Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back into circulation.

I have always loved the Henty books and am so glad that Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back for my children to enjoy.  Not all of children love reading old classics like I do.  The material is a little harder to get into than modern day fiction.  I understand this but really want them to know and love the classics.  So we use them as read alouds.  But there is something so much more magical about listening to them on an audio drama versus mom reading them. 

I highly recommend this audio drama as well as all of the others from Heirloom Audio Productions.  Other audio dramas that we’ve reviewed and that you should check out are The Dragon and the Raven, With Lee in Virginia, The Cat of Bubastes, and Beric the Briton

Learn More

Make sure to click over to the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog and read the linked up blog posts.  You can also find Heirloom Audio Productions and all their audio dramas bringing Henty back on facebook, twitter, instagram, and google +.


Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Audio Drama in our Homeschool {TOS Crew Review}

Do you do a lot of driving?  These past three weeks we’ve been driving two hours on Monday and Tuesday to get back and forth from dance class.  I knew I had to find something to use up that time so the kids weren’t just sitting in their car-seats fighting and fussing with each other.  Most of my kids really don’t like sitting in their car-seats.  So, I was so glad when we received With Lee in Virginia from Heirloom Audio Productions!  Of course, being Civil War reenactors we were super excited to listen to this!


How we Use Audio Drama in our Homeschool.


I’ve used audio drama in our homeschool before.  In fact, we reviewed from In Freedom’s Cause from Heirloom Audio Productions before and LOVED it!  Most of the time when we’re driving in the van we listen to Christian music or a book on cd.  This is more than a book on CD.  This is not just one person reading  a script.  This is an audio drama. It’s like watching a movie but the screen is in your head and the only limits are your imagination!

We received a physical copy of the cd plus a link to download a study guide and a soundtrack.  If you’ve read around on my blog you’ll know that I really love using study guides to help make sure my children are picking out the important pieces and retaining them.  And well the soundtrack is just gorgeous so of course you’ll want to download that too.

The study guide is 52 pages in length and includes questions and interactions for each chapter.  As I’ve mentioned above I’m a huge proponent of always getting the study guides to go with things.  This one will help listening skills for younger children and increase comprehension and retention in the older children.  It also helps them to think about what they’ve heard and not just let it be ear pleasing going in one ear and out the other.  I did enjoy that there was a short Bible study included in the study guide as well as a list of books to help you explore further.

This is the third production from Heirloom Audio Productions and is based on a novel by George Alfred Henty.  The book is part of the series titled The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty.

When using this audio drama in our homeschool it was good to note that it is geared for ages 6 through adult.  However, all of my kids were in the van listening to this.  So that’s ages 2 up to 10 and then me(I’m not stating my age).  My two year old fell asleep most of the time so I can’t tell you whether there were parts that she didn’t like or not.  There were a few spots that my four year old was a bit worried about but we’d pause and talk and then go on with the audio drama.  Having studied the Civil War extensively as well as reenacting it, my children were familiar with most of the things going on.

This two cd set has two and one half hours of listening pleasure.  When using any audio drama in our homeschool I always like to note the length so we’re not listening to all but say the last twenty minutes in any given day.  So we listened to this on the way to dance one night and then on the way down the next night finishing the recording on the way back.  We actually listened to this all three weeks so we’ve gone through it three times already!

Some fun things to note.  We loved this soundtrack.  It was so gorgeous.  I finally figured out why.  The soundtrack is done by Emmy award winning composer John Campbell.  If that name is not familiar then you have not watched the acclaimed Narnia movies!!  This audio drama was written by Robert Liparulo.  Some noted actors also lend their voice to the latest audio drama in our homeschool including Kirk Cameron, Sean Astin, Jim Weiss, and Chris Anthony.

Now just a bit about the story line.  The story follows Vincent Wingfield, a 15 year old boy, who joins the Army of Virginia during the Civil War.  He is part of the Cavalry.  That right there was enough to capture my kids attention.  They kept adding things and asking questions while we were listening.   you see their daddy is a Cavalry officer when we reenact.  He rides his horse off into battle, so they know exactly what’s happening!

If you’re looking to learn more about With Lee in Virginia please check out the rest of the reviews on the Main TOS Blog Page.  We all received the same CD to review this time so you’ll get lots of opinions!  You can also connect with Heirloom Audio Productions on facebook, or the audio drama facebook page, twitter, and google +



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