Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Drive Thru History Adventures ~ a Crew review

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Drive Thru History, homeschool video curriculum, homeschool history curriculum

Our family loves exploring history, so we were happy to jump onboard when the Homeschool Review Crew was presented the opportunity to review the new Drive Thru History Adventures with Dave Stotts and Drive Thru History TV app. This online homeschool history curriculum currently has three offerings: Bible History Adventures, American History Adventures, and Ancient History Adventures. An Annual subscription to Drive Thru History Adventures gains you access to all three courses. The American and Ancient history courses each contain 12 lessons, while the Bible history course contains 18 lessons.

Dave Stotts hosts each of these Adventures and takes a good bit of humor, mixes it with history lessons, and points the lesson back to how it effects our lives today. Dave also includes thoughts on how the events in history, and the people who were involved were guided by their devotion to God, or lack thereof. For this review Arlene chose to work on the 12 lessons in the American History Adventures. Normally you would do one lesson a week, but, Arlene is a bit of an overachiever when it comes to history, especially American history, that might have something to do with her six+ years as a Civil War re-enactor, so she did all 12 in four weeks. Each lesson in this series includes a 30 minute video, reading of primary source documents, and a worksheet with discussion questions.

The American History Adventures course covers the time from Columbus to the Constitution of the United States, with the bulk of the time spent on the American Revolution. The primary source documents are available to read online or can be downloaded and printed if desired, as they are in a PDF format. 

Drive Thru History, homeschool video curriculum, homeschool history curriculum

Before I go much further, I want to take minute to explain how we use Drive Thru History Adventures, and give you some suggestions for your own family. Arlene is 17 years old and does almost all of her coursework independently. That means she logs in, watches the videos, reads the accompanying primary source documents, and then we discuss her lesson while making dinner that evening. I do not make her write out the answers to the discussion questions, but we have looked them over. We discuss what she learned, because I have found that if she can re-tell it to me, she had cemented the learning. If you have a family of mixed ages that want to study history together, you can adapt the various part of the curriculum to fit your individual children. Everyone can watch the videos together, but skip the primary source readings and written answers for the younger kids. You might want to have printed off the discussion questions beforehand and have everyone discuss them before you send your teens off to read, or you might only assign these questions to the older students. For the American History Adventures, some of the primary source documents are rather long and require a high reading comprehension level. It is not expected that your student will understand everything they read, or even agree with it, but the opportunity to try is invaluable.

Drive Thru History, homeschool video curriculum, homeschool history curriculum

The Video for Episode 4 in this American History Adventures series includes the history of George Whitefield and the First Great Awakening, as well as a walk along Boston's Freedom Trail and an inside tour of the U.S.S. Constitution. There are two primary source documents to read for this lesson: George Whitfield's Marks of a True Conversion, and Jonathan Edwards' Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. One is 14 pages long, the other 16 pages long. This is representative of the amount of reading expected by high school students, so if your students are younger, don't stress - they will still get a lot of history learning in just by watching the videos. Arlene and I discussed the mercy of God and how Edwards portrayed the plight of sinners in his sermon. Yes, these are Christian history lessons. They do not pretend everything in the past was beautiful and perfect, rather, Dave Stott does an admirable job of showing viewers how the faith of those early Americans gave them the strength to follow what God had called them to do - persevere in the face of hardship and adversity.

Drive Thru History, homeschool video curriculum, homeschool history curriculum

Your one year subscription to Drive Thru History Adventures also unlocks the benefits of using the Adventures TV app on your phone or tablet. This app allows access to all of your videos in the three history adventures, as well as other videos like Dave's Adventures (which includes the weekly mailbag videos,) Side Roads videos, Behind the Scenes videos, and Dig Deeper videos. The Adventures TV app does not include the primary source documents of the discussion questions - for those you'll need to log in to the website. What the app does do is gives you the freedom to travel with your history videos. Think about being able to take your videos along to watch while waiting at the Doctor's office (with headphones of course) or by sending them to your tv via Chromecast or an AppleTV device. Or if it is warm outside, you'll find Arlene on the porch swing in in the pa tree with the iPad. You can also watch the videos via Adventures TV on your computer. I really like the Adventures TV app because it bookmarks your viewing of the videos. Start watching it on your phone, and when you return that episode is at the top of the page with a Continue Watching button.

Since Arlene has watched all of the episodes and read the primary source documents in the American History Adventures, I'll let her take over while I go watch the Side Roads video about the history of cheese. :)

From Arlene:

When we reviewed Drive Thru History: The Gospels last year it didn’t just become my favorite product of that year but my favorite product we had ever reviewed. Sound Biblical teaching and a fun look at history. What could be better? I didn’t think anything would ever top it as my favorite review ever until my mom told me about the new Drive Thru History Adventures, if I remember correctly the first words out of my mouth when she was done explaining what it was were “Where do we sign up?” 

Drive Thru History Adventures is so cool because it is not just the episodes (which are cool enough on their own), it is the episodes of three of the series plus historical documents that go with different episodes and extra articles and reading to go along with the episodes so you can learn more plus different shorter videos by done each week by Dave covering everything from how we got penicillin to the history of cheese. There are also videos by others that talk about ancient coins and ones that talk about the origins of different holidays. Oh and it has behind the scenes videos on all sorts of different things, like, did you know that there is a Drive Thru History section at the Museum of the Bible in Washington D. C.? Oh and of course there are bloopers!

So that is a lot and its kind of one long sentence and as I reread it I can hear mom in my head telling me to use less conjunctions and more punctuation but there is just so much stuff! 

So what do I like particularly about the videos? As I said above I love history and finding a video series that has both amazing quality information and great production quality where I can just watch knowing it is Biblical and not have to be worried about millions of years popping up is so nice! The videos themselves have tons of information and it is totally ok to re-watch them over and over agin because you are sure to remember something new each time. The also make history fun! Dave is never afraid to make a joke to keep the show going and even as an older kid I don’t find the jokes annoying I find it nice that he can show people that history isn't just dead people and old stuff but that it is alive all around us and still impacts how we live today. I love that he doesn’t just show pictures and talk but goes to the places he is talking about. Seeing the places, some of which I had only ever read about before, was super cool and gave me a helpful visual aid for the next time I read something about that place and time. 

Last time we did a review it was just for the videos but this time it is for the new Drive Thru History Adventures a site with so much stuff it is hard to know where to begin! The site was so cool because after watching the videos I could read historical documents that went along with what I had just watched and then if I wanted to know more I could read other articles that helped me learn even more about the time period I had just learned about in the episode. It was also cool because I could watch behind the scenes videos of how they made the show and my favorite, bloopers! Dave also has new videos posting all the time on all sorts of different things. I learned more about the history of so many different Holidays from Valentines day to Veterans Day, Groundhogs  Day to Reformation day. There are also videos by people besides Dave talking about cool things like ancient coins, and tours of the construction of the Museum of the Bible which has a section just for Drive Thru History. Oh and it has worksheets if you are into that sort of thing. I never really was, but I know lots of parents LOVE worksheets and the site has them to go with each episode.

So you are probably thinking that this sounds cool but you don't know if you want to spend the money for a whole year’s subscription since I might not have convinced you yet that it is worth the price. So let me say it plainly. It is TOTALLY WORTH THE PRICE! In fact when you think about the cost of other history programs and curriculum out there it is a FANTASTIC price. Because it is not just one history course but three! Plus it is fun which means your kids will actually want to do it! And what parent doesn't want a school program that they know is good and they won’t have to make their kids do? So yes, it may seem expensive at first but it is totally worth it because its not one of those only one or two kids at a time can use it things like some other programs. You can have a younger kid learning American history and an older one learning the history of the Gospels at the same time! Plus did I mention that there is an app? You can access all of Drive Thru History Adventures videos right from your phone (because even adults need a refresher course once in a while), or your kid’s tablet without having to go through the bother of remembering which of the two dozen tabs you have open is the right one! So if you are not sure get it for a month and try it out, after a month most of you will probably want to get it for another year because its just that awesome!

So I’ll end now because this is supposed to go with mom’s review and not instead of and I’m already way over the word count minimum without mom’s help.

Just to wrap up a few more details, Drive Thru History Adventures is available as either a monthly or annual subscription. Right now, if you choose the Annual Subscription, they will send you a copy of The Gospels DVD set at no additional charge. You can see those details here. Arlene and I reviewed The Gospels set last year and it was Arlene's favorite course or review item of the entire year! 
OR, you could read the latest issue of the Old Schoolhouse magazine where Drive Thru History is offering a 20% discount on the Annual Subscription - look for their full page add in the first half of the magazine. Choose one or the other - either The Gospels DVDs or the discount. :)

So why Drive Thru History Adventures? Because it is a fun, immersive style of learning history. We cannot all physically travel to Boston, Portugal, and New Jersey each year to learn about American history, but with Drive Thru History you will step away feeling like you've been there. Learning through stories improves retention, but learning alongside Dave Stotts is just plain fun!

Oh, and because Dave is super cool and loves kids, even almost grown ones - he mailed Arlene some Drive Thru History Adventures swag :)

Drive Thru History, American History, Homeschool history curriculum

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Books With Bean ~ The False Prince

Books With bean, book reviews by teens, The False Prince

Title: The False Prince: The Ascendance Trilogy book One

Author: Jennifer A. Nelson

Published: April 1, 2012

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary: Sage is an orphan living in a falling apart and over crowded orphanage. One day while stealing meat for himself and the other children to eat he gets caught and because of this gets taken by a nobleman named Conner. At first Sage thinks that he will just be a servant but then he gets taken to Conner’s house with three other boys who look like him. Roden is tough and street smart. Tobias is learned for his age and situation and can even read quite well. The third boy is Latamer, a sick boy who doesn’t survive the journey to Conner’s house. Sage soon finds out Conner has a different idea of what he wants the boys to do. The royal family of Carthya has been murdered and Conner wants one of the boys to impersonate the long lost Prince Jaron and take the throne of Carthya to prevent the country from falling into the chaos it would otherwise if the many regents in the kingdom try to fight for control. The boy’s days become filled with learning all the things a prince would be expceted to know from his years of life before he “died”. However while Roden and Tobias are doing their best to be the one that Conner chooses (because they all know what will happen to the two left unpicked) Sage doesn’t care to be Conner’s Prince. However fait will have the final say in who is chosen.

What I liked about it: I liked Sage and I even liked the two other boys. The plot was a tad cliché but it was executed well and I found the story interesting. It kept my interest for the entire book and made me want to read the next one as soon as I could.

Language: There is a tad but it is light and not often at all. 

Romance: Sage does start to become infatuated with one of the servant girls at Conner’s house it doesn’t turn to romance until the second book. Even then however it is barely even a kiss.

Violence: There is sword fighting, and Latamer is killed near the beginning of the book as a show to the boys from Conner about how serious he is about his plan and what should happen to them if they should try and escape or do anything to interfere with his plans. However while it is a shock to the boys as it is intended to be. It is not described in a graphic way. 

Magic: None. While this is a made up world it is made realistic in the fact that there is no magic. 

Recommended Age: Sage is in his early teens and I think that 12 or 13 is a good age to read it for the first time. However don’t worry about its not good if you are older then that. This is a book that I would recommend to anyone I thought might like it from 12 on up. 

Books With bean, book reviews by teens, The False Prince

Friday, February 23, 2018

Hearts Entwined ~ a Bethany House book review

Christian Historical Fiction, Mary Connealy, Karen Witemeyer, Bethany House, book reviews

Have you ever gotten to the end of a great book and wished there was just one more chapter? Or arrived at the end of a trilogy by one of your favorite authors and wished there was just one more story to read? Me too! That is why I jumped at the chance to review Hearts Entwined, a Novella collection from Bethany House. It features stories from three authors I have read quite a few book from, Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, and Regina Jennings, along with a novella from Melissa Jaguars who is still fairly new to the Christian Historical Romance genre. 

If you are a fan of any of these four engaging authors you will want to pick up your own copy to read. Karen Witemeyer’s The Love Knot is from her Ladies of Harper’s Station storyline. Claire Nevin has received a rather cryptic letter from her younger sister Polly back East asking her to meet the train in the neighboring town of Seymour, Texas. She is shipping something valuable to Claire and wishes her to protect it for Polly, as their Da had kicked Polly out of the family’s tenement apartment. Little does Claire know that what is arriving is her infant nephew, Polly’s baby, and that Polly has sent it with Claire’s old Beau, the baby’s Uncle, Pieter. This story focuses on forgiveness and regaining trust. 

Claire and Pieter both want what is best for baby Liam, but in order to do so they must work through their own troubled past and the feelings of hurt their rash actions have caused each other. Finding someone to help Claire care for Liam is rarely a problem, since Harper’s Station is filled with women, but finding help for Claire’s heart is harder to come by. Don’t we all struggle at times to forgive? It’s just a novella, not a novel, so I'll stop now before I give away too many spoilers!

Mary Connealy’s The Tangled Ties That Bind is the story I’ve been waiting a year to read… as it is from her Kincaid Brides series. When I finished the third book a year or so ago I really wanted it to go on… and not be just a trilogy. I had come to enjoy spending time with the characters and their quirks. This novella transports us a while into the future of the Kincaid family as it focuses on two of the children from the earlier stories - when they have grown up and are looking for they own paths in life. I enjoyed visiting with Audra and Ethan Kincaid again, but more then that, I enjoyed the realistic characters of Connor and Maggie. Having an almost 20 year old myself, I appreciated the struggles Maggie is going through to find her identity, her future plans, and deal with the expectations others might unknowingly have thrust upon her. If you have read and enjoyed any if Mary’s previous books, you’ll want to savor this novella as well. Maybe even read it first when you get your copy of Hearts Entwined!

Regina Jennings’ contribution to this delightful collection is Bound and Determined. Eighteen year old Ambrosia Herald, affectionately called Amber by her father, has determined that her mother’s rose garden is more important than her father's plan rescuing the camels he used in the war. She has decided to go along on his trip to thwart his plans. Private Bradley Willis has been assigned to help Captain Herald retrieve his camels as a punishment for disobedience. This story probably made me laugh the most of all four included in the book. Amber is trying to use her charm to get her way, Private Willis is trying to not get killed by a local gang - or fail the mission and end up with a worse punishment, and Captain Herald is reliving the memories of his time in the war and his companions he had along the way. 

Melissa Jagears is a new-to-me author. Her story Tied and True is set in Kansas City, Missouri in 1908. It tells the tale of Marianne Lister, a young woman who has been brought up with the wealth of her parents, but is currently floundering as she tries to find her own place in society. Her parents expect her to marry within her station in life, but her heart tells her another story. David is the man her parents expect her to marry, but try as she might, Marianne cannot see herself spending the rest of her life as David’s wife, only as his friend. The man that Marianne’s heart has fallen for is Calvin, David’s assistant. 

The themes presented in Tied and True are ones that people have struggled with for centuries across continents. Do you choose to marry because of what is expected of you, or do you defy the standards of society’s expectations and marry for love? Have you ever wondered what you would do in that situation? If yes, then you will enjoy Marianne’s journey to find out who she really is inside, who God has called her to be, and the answer about marriage He has for her.

Whether these four are already favorite authors of yours, or if you’re looking for something new to read, I highly recommend Hearts Entwined to readers of Historical Fiction, especially those who like a little humor in their romances!

Get your copy of Hearts Entwined from Bethany House or your local bookstore. 

Connect with the authors on their websites:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions are mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

To Rome ... thoughts on God's call to spread the Gospel

Rome, book of Acts, Apostle Paul, Christian Living

Recently while reading in the books of Acts, I was struck anew by the prophesy of Agabus about Paul’s future in chapter 21. Agabus told Paul that he would be bound by the Jews and handed over to the Gentiles. Paul’s companions were worried and begged Paul to not go to Jerusalem, but still, Paul went. Paul went to Jerusalem knowing he would very likely loose his life for the name of Christ. He had already been stoned, publicly beaten and imprisoned, now almost certain death awaited him. Perhaps Paul understood much more deeply than we do today what it means to give our lives for Christ. Paul went.

While in Jerusalem Paul’s life was in jeopardy once again, and through the mercies of God, Paul’s nephew learned of the plot to take his life. The Roman soldiers protected Paul by sending him away ahead of time to face his trial before Governor Felix. Paul gave his defense at the trial, how what he had done in Jerusalem and elsewhere was not breaking any Jewish laws, but simply angered the Jews because Paul believed in the resurrection of Christ, while the Sanhedrin did not. 

Paul spends two years in prison before another governor took control. At this point the trial resumes and Paul appealed to Caesar. As a Roman citizen Paul had the right to demand a trial before the Emperor. Governor Festus replied that since Paul had appealed to Rome, to Rome he would be sent.

Perhaps you have read further in the book of Acts. If so, you’ll remember Paul was shipwrecked, bitten by a poisonous snake, and spent two years in Rome under house arrest awaiting his trial. 

God had a plan 

His plan involved Paul going to Rome and preaching repeatedly about the message of the Gospel, the good news, of Christ! Paul wrote many of the letters we now refer to as the Epistles while in Rome. God’s plan was for Paul to be in Rome. No plan of man - either Jew or Gentile - was going to trump God’s plan. Paul had been on missionary journeys, Paul had met with the Disciples in Jerusalem, he had carried a gift to help provide relief from the hardships they were facing. So many times along the way Paul’s life was seemingly lost, and yet, God provided a way out- because it was not yet time for Paul to die according to God's plan. 

Paul knew his life was surrendered to God, and that Christ Jesus had promised him a hope of a future, of eternal life. 
How often do we loose our focus and forget that this life we are living is just temporary? 




Are we more like Paul, who set his face resolutely towards Rome and God’s purposes, or are we more like the Old Testament prophet Jonah who ran away from God’s directions for his life? Are we holding on too tightly to the things of this world? I would have to say “yes.” What about you?

How do we get our focus back on what God’s plan is for us? 
First, we stop. 

Psalm 46:10 states: He says,"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heavens, I will be exalted in the earth."(NIV)

To know that God is reigning supreme, above all other things that might happen in our lives today, we must stop and be still. When you can hear your own heart beat, or feel yourself breathing - those involuntary actions that tell you that God has still given you life and breath - then you can begin to be thankful for all the other gifts God has given. When we are impatient or anxious about what might happen next in our day, then we are not being still. When we focus on how soon we can get a task completed to move on to something else, without focusing on doing the task well, then we are not being still.

I’m sitting in a library. When I look to my left, I see other people being still. Reading, typing, studying. When I look to my right, I see a highway outside the window. I see people in cars and trucks headed towards whatever comes next. I cannot say if they are being still or if they are striving to reach the next thing. It IS possible to be active in body while yet being still in your soul. It comes from trusting the One who holds your future. If Jesus commands your life, and your future - your life eternal - then you can be still and know God anywhere.

Paul had found that knowing, that trust, and it allowed him to face the future knowing that God would send him to Rome, because that was a part of God’s plan for Paul. Less than two weeks before Agabus prophesied, Paul had already known his future was at hand. In his farewell to the Ephesian elders he shared his knowledge of God’s plan, limited though his understanding was, Paul knew it would be for God’s glory.

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I an going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:22-24 (NIV)

Where is your Rome?

What is the place or task that the Holy Spirit is compelling you to go to or accomplish for the Gospel? If you have not recently felt the call of the Holy Spirit on your life, then you have not been listening. If you are not a Christian, the Holy Spirit is calling you, wooing you, to the freedom that comes from a future entrusted to God’s mighty hand. You are being called to a life filled with inexpressible peace and joy. If you are a Christian, then the Holy Spirit has a specific call for your life that includes being set apart for God. It may not be a call to foreign missions, it may be a call to be set apart right where you are today - as a plumber, a nurse, a teacher, a mom or dad, or even as a student. It is a call to be transformed from the inside out by time spent in God’s Word and prayer. 

My calling is different than yours, but we may be walking alongside each other for miles, years even, in the paths that God had planned for each of us. How do we hold one another up? How do our words and actions towards those around us show that we are set apart? Where is the love that Christ commands us to share with everyone? These can be tough questions to answer. I do not have all the answers, but I do know the One who does!

So I ask again? Where is your Rome, and are you following the call of the Holy Spirit to arrive there in God's timing?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Wulf the Saxon from Heirloom Audio Productions ~ a Crew Review

Jump in the boat with us as we sail away on yet another exciting adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions! This ninth release in the Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty series tell a tale of loyalty, courage, and love through the story of Wulf the Saxon. We begin our adventure when Wulf is just a short-tempered 16 year old thane under Earl Harold Godwinson and follow him through the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Although these are historical fiction tales, you will step away wishing Wulf were real and alive today because you will want him for a friend, either for yourself or for your children.

Heirloom Audio Productions continues to excel at bringing audio theatre to a higher level as they combine great storytelling with superb acting and amazing sound effects. We like listening to these on long car rides, but I often wish I had the time to listen at home as well when I could close my eyes and better imagine the details the stories evoke. Arlene has enjoyed listening to all of the audio adventures over and over again ever since the first one arrived in the fall of 2014.

Wulf the Saxon is 2.5 hours of non-stop listening enjoyment. Having recently lived through our own daughters' learning those oh-so-necessary lessons of self-control, polite speech, and loyalty during the teen years, I think the story of Wulf's growth in this tale might just become my favorite! As a future landholder in a time of England's history where a thane's words and actions reflected upon the Earls, and thus the King, Wulf must learn to control his temper. Along the way he learns the value of self-control and the great honor and responsibility of loyalty to Earl Harold who would succeed Edward the Confessor as King.

While Wulf has the privilege of being raised as a page enroute to becoming a thane who will one-day rule his Father's lands, he also must learn the value of hard work. Beorn is in a similar situation, and during the time they spend learning from Earl Harold they become good friends. By the end of the story you will also come to love Osgod, Wulf's servant, defender, cohort, and friend.

I was fascinated by the way this story tells the details of what happened leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It has been a long time since I studied World History, but I do remember mention of the Bayeux Tapestry, and it is the springboard into this story. Once again, G.A. Henty as narrator is voiced by Brian Blessed, and he is joined by an amazing cast.

While listening to the story of Wulf the Saxon, Arlene and I often paused the CDs to talk about these themes of loyalty and hard work and various points in Britain's history. Questions she raised like "Why was someone always trying to conquer England?" and others make our study of history so much richer. We would definitely recommend these Christian audio dramas become a vital and well-loved part of your homeschooling curriculum! If you are looking to further your study of history, we recommend you take a look at the Live the Adventure Club from Heirloom Audio Productions! This online, subscription-only resource allows you to dig deeper into a wide variety of history topics, beginning with the audio adventures! We have a subscription and it keeps all of our audio adventures available for online listening,  along with any bonus content. There is an old-time radio vault for your listening enjoyment, plus resources for parents, online kids' activities, daily devotionals and a wonderful Live the Adventure Club Community forum. 

Throughout the story of Wulf the Saxon there is an underlying theme of patriotism (to England) that requires sacrifice. This is a lesson we Americans would do well to learn again. King Edward's, and later King Harold's goals were to keep England united from within to withstand the attacks that threatened to tear her apart. Some characters, like Lady Edith and King Harold, gave up their dreams of marrying for love, while others, like Osgod, gave up a part of their lives, all while fighting for the continuation of England as a free country. They are not portrayed as looking for their country to do something for them, but rather they are portrayed as being willing to sacrifice their personal wants for the greater good of their country and their countrymen. It reminded me of JFK's speech "Ask not what your country can do for you..."

Courage in the face of overwhelming odds or an uncertain future is something I want our daughters to learn. Courage is not necessarily the absence of fear, but the decision to not let fear rule your life or your choices. The story of Wulf the Saxon, while fictional, reminds us of the Biblical truths that God is the one who goes before us into battle, and He is the one who allows us to treat others with compassion.

While the adventures from Heirloom Audio Productions are designed for ages 6-16, don't be fooled into thinking those are the only ages that will enjoy them. Arlene will soon turn 18 and is still excited every time a new audio adventure releases! I am pretty sure some day in the distant future Kurt and I will be purchasing these for another generation of our family. Yes, they really are that well done!

From Arlene:

Normans and Saxons, if you have ever watched or read Robin Hood (I myself am a big fan of the 1938 Errol Flynn version) you know that the Normans and Saxons don't like each other. However, if you are like me, you were never quite sure why? Enter Wulf the Saxon, a tale that can help you understand their animosity, while still being an amazing story in its own right. The story follows Wulf, a thane, in his adventures with and for Earl Harold as the Earl works to unify the country of England he will one day rule. Harold is trying to keep peace with the other rulers and cultures around them. The story is never boring, with battles and adventures of Dukes and Kings. It is sure to both entertain and teach from start to finish.

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To read our previous reviews of Heirloom Audio Productions' adventures, click on the titles below

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Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}


Books With Bean ~ Anne of Green Gables

Books With Bean, book reviews by teens, Anne of Green Gables

Title: Anne of Green Gables 

Author: L. M. Montgomery

Published: 1908

Genre: Literary 

Summary: 11 year old Anne Shirley was not what Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert expected when they sent for an orphan to help out on their farm. But come she did, and their lives are forever changed when they decide to keep her and raise her. Anne hasn't had much formal upbringing up to that point so life is one mishap after another as Anne learns how to be a proper girl. From making lifelong friends with one child at school to swearing to hate another one for the rest of her life, life on Prince Edward Island is never boring. Anne meets new people, has lots of adventures, and for the first time in her life learns what it is like to have a family.

What I liked about it: Being a redhead myself I have always liked Anne, she was a lot like me, she loved what she loved and hated what she did not like. She was quick to a temper but just as quick to forgive (at least most of the time). Even as I got older and with time grew more refined in my literary analysis skills I realized that Anne could be a bit too good at times. However she and her adventures will always have a special place in my heart for her love of fun and the world around her.

Language: None

Romance: None in the first book, but as Anne grows older she does have romance and eventually gets married. The books are all very good however you might want to wait until your child is a bit older to read the later books if they start the first book when they are young.

Violence: None

Magic: None

Recommended Age: Anne is 11 and I personally think 10 or 11 is good age to start reading the series. However as I said above Anne does get older as the books go on. These books a wonderful to read as you grow up however while Anne is young in the first book she does get older and I would recommend the later books for 14 and up or maybe a little older

Books With Bean, book reviews by teens, Anne of Green Gables