Monday, September 25, 2017

Captain Bayley's Heir ~ Heirloom Audio ~ A Crew Review

Heirloom Audio Productions is back with another edge of your seat story from the Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty: Captain Bayley's Heir. Join Frank as he travels from England to America as a deckhand aboard a clipper ship and soon finds himself joining a wagon train to reach California and prospect for gold. Along the way Frank endures a storm upon the mighty Mississippi river, an indian attack, and harsh conditions. But he also meets people who point him towards God's grace.

Captain Bayley's Heir is the eighth installment in the Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty series, and the seventh time we have been invited to join in the fun by the Homeschool Review Crew. I'll let you in on a little secret: we purchased #7 ourselves last year because we wanted to listen to it before the Crew had an opportunity to review it. It was really good too, and someday, hopefully soon, I'll have Arlene write up a review of it for you to read. :)

Heirloom Audio Productions has become famous for producing such wonderfully immersive audio dramas. Many listeners comment that it is just like being at the theater, but without the pictures. I concur! We have enjoyed every adventure so far, and are looking forward to the next one... there was a definitive hint at the end of Captain Bayley's Heir, but you'll have to listen yourself to find out what it is - we're not offering that spoiler here. :)

Why might you want to get your family a copy of Captain Bayley's Heir? It is over two hours of wholesome entertainment, with a strong message about finding God's grace in the midst of trials. If you have listened to other audio dramas from Heirloom Audio Productions then you will remember that there is always a pointing towards the Savior in the stories. In this adventure, Frank is pointed to God's grace by more than one of the people he meets. In the introduction to the story, voiced by Brian Blessed as Henty, we hear a clear presentation of the Gospel message.

Spoiler Alert!

Below the next picture I am going to give you a plot summary. If you do not want to know the story before you begin listening, then stop reading now and scroll all the way to the last paragraph where you'll find the link to purchase your own copy of Captain Bayley's Heir! (Then you can scroll back up four paragraphs and read about the Study Guide and the Live the Adventure Club and still miss the plot spoilers.)

The story of Captain Bayley's Heir begins in England, where we are introduced to Frank, his cousin Fred, their Uncle Captain Bayley, and the Captain's ward, Alice. Frank, Fred, and Alice have grown up as cousins. Alice and Frank live with Captain Bayley, and Fred lives nearby and visits often. At the beginning of the story, Frank and Fred both attend Westminster, and Alice oversees the Captain's household. 

They meet a chap named Harry one cold winter day when his dog falls through the ice and Frank dives in to rescue him. Harry is the crippled son of a dust-man and a washerwoman, and he loves to play his violin. He thanks Frank for rescuing his dog the next time he sees him and invites him to visit his parents if Frank is willing. During the visit Frank finds out that Harry loves to read Virgil so he gives him a copy.

Unfortunately for Frank, an unwise choice with his school chums gets him in big trouble, and then he is accused of stealing a ten-pound note. Under threat of being publicly expelled, Frank decides to flee to America. He wants to try to make his own way (as had his Uncle) and hopefully one day return to England to clear his name.

Along his voyage Frank learns how to be a deckhand, and when he lands in New Orleans he is introduced to a flatboat captain who hires him for trips up and down the Mississippi river. A storm causes great trouble, and damage to the boat, but Frank comes up with an idea for repairs.

When Frank decides to head west to California, he meets up with a trio of unforgettable characters in Rube, Abe, and Dickens. They are my favorite people in the story. So funny!

The story also continues in England, and we are treated to a back and forth storyline between Frank's new life and the life he left behind. I would tell you more, except I want you to listen to it yourself! Once Frank and his trio of new friends start out with the wagon train the adventure gets even greater. It truly is a wonderful presentation of the story, with a strong pointing to God's grace and forgiveness woven throughout.

I would be remiss if I did not tell you about the Study Guide, a 38 page PDF that is designed to help parents talk with their children about the themes of the story. It includes the same three types of sections as previous ones have: Listening Well, Defining Words, and Thinking Further (digging deeper into the themes of the story.) I appreciated the thinking further questions the most. There are so many themes and deeper issues involved in this story that even if you think you already know some about the California Gold Rush you should probably look these over with your children and talk about them. If your children are little, they might not understand terms like Manifest Destiny, but your teens and you should have a discussion about how our country expanded, what we did right, and where we fell short. We cannot change the past, but we should learn from it and ask God to help us make wise choices in our own lives.

The study guide is divided up by sections that correspond to the plot turns in the story. There are several extras parts included under the Expand Your Learning banners. One of those teaches about the Gold Rush mining camps, another about the famous/ important people during the Gold Rush in California, etc.

At the end of the Study Guide are my favorite parts: the Bible studies! There are three studies to go along with this audio adventure: God's Grace, Becoming a Christian, and Honoring your parents. 

For those of you who love history, or activities, or whose children like extras, Heirloom Audio Productions has produced a wonderful website for the Live the Adventure Club. This subscription-based website has kid's activities, including coloring pages and word searches, along with a read-along script for your children, and a whole host of educational resources for parents and older students. It also includes an Old time radio vault, texts from old history books, family activity ideas, and daily inspiration. It really is a neat resource for the entire family. If you join the club, the cost includes 3 new Audio Dramas per year. Bonus! :)

I hope this review has whet your appetite for a good rollicking adventure! To find your next one, get your family a copy of Captain Bayley's Heir, and the check out the Live the Adventure Club.

Captain Bayley's Heir {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

No comments:

Post a Comment