Friday, July 12, 2013

"Hero Tales" CD set- a review

Heard any good stories lately? We’ve been listening to some new ones in the car. We recently received the CD set “Hero Tales” from Raising Real Men to review. This set has  contains 3 CD’s with the stories from the book “Hero Tales” written by Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge, originally published in 1895.

The stories from the book cover both people and events that directed or influenced America’s history beginning at George Washington and continuing through the War between the states. The CD’s are read by Hal Young, one of the founders of Raising Real Men. 

Raising Real Men

Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys

I enjoyed listening to the stories, and our girls enjoyed them too. The one drawback we found, was that the background sound effects, which are a nice addition, are at times almost too loud and make it difficult to hear Hal telling the stories. We adjusted the settings on our car stereo and that helped a lot. Keep this in mind when listening to them.

Some of the people and events were familiar to us, like Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark, while others were new discoveries, such as the Privateer George Armstrong from the War of 1812. Even thought we all like to read, listening to CD’s in the car is a way for us to be learning the same thing, without needing 3 copies of a book. I know a lot of families take turns reading aloud on a family book, but that doesn’t usually work with my husband and my work schedules, so CD’s allow us to use the travel time in the car for the same purpose.

If it’s been a few years since YOU studied early American History, I think you would also enjoy listening to the CD’s with your children or grandchildren. These stories are an easy way to digest people and events, and then discuss them as a family. I would recommend these for ages 10 and up. Younger children can definitely listen and learn, but may not be able to discuss or understand the implications of the underlying war.

Because the original book was written in the late 1800’s, you will notice that some of the stories presented are laden with “Manifest Destiny” ideals or viewpoints. While this was the prevailing idea at the time, (and for 100 years afterwards,) I hope that listening to the stories, and discussing them as a family, can help you understand and explain to your children both the positive and negative aspects of our history. My hope is that this leads to a better recognition of the facts surrounding when 'New' Americans chose unwisely in their dealings with the Native Americans. By teaching our children to value all life, we can inspire them to live with values like courage and determination, as well as compassion.

Don’t be turned away by the name, Raising Real Men, as they have many resources suitable for both boys and girls. You can click here to read our review of a book from Raising Real Men, “A Cry From Egypt.”

The Hero Tales CD set normally retails for $21, but is currently available for $15. That gives you three hours of entertainment and learning to share with your family. I really think you’ll enjoy listening to the stories, and maybe you’ll be inspired to study further the lives of these amazing people.

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