Heirloom Audio Productions has done it again with the release of Captain Bayley's Heir. We were so excited to receive this latest audio production and study guide for review. There are many ways to learn history, and one of the most exciting ways is through story telling. Heirloom Audio Productions certainly knows how to capture the imagination of everyone who listens to one of their Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty. Did you know that G. A. Henty was a real Englishman who lived from 1832 to 1902 and wrote more than 100 books?
This is an audio book that is 2.5 hours long and comes on two CDs. With the purchase of the audio production, you are granted access to the study guide and Heirloom Audio's Live the Adventure Club. All of these features make for a complete educational package.
Captain Bayley's Heir is a very exciting story about Frank, who is falsely accused of a crime while at university in his homeland of England. He feels like he can't return home, so he flees to America and quickly finds himself traveling on a wagon train. He makes a few really decent friends and they decide to seek their fortunes in California during the Gold Rush. He experiences many trials and comes very close to death. The story is filled with twists and turns and some really big surprises. Our favorite part was finding out who Captain Bayley's true heir was and how he came into the family. Frank is a wonderful role model. He is strong, brave, caring and looks out for his fellow man. While he struggles with his faith, he learns throughout all of his trials that God is there for him and what God's grace truly means. I don't want to give too much away, but it is a great motivational story that teaches God's grace, honoring parents or guardians, finding your way in the world and being an honest person during adversity. It also teaches about the journey of becoming a Christian. All these moral lessons are delivered through an action packed story.
My children have already studied the Gold Rush, wagon trains and American Indians. This was still a fresh approach for them, because they got to "live" all of these experiences through Frank's eyes. They were right there with him through his ups and downs. I like how they got to experience Frank being accepted by other miners and how they made a "family". We so often learn about how rough and unlawful the gold fields were, but there was civility laced through the fields as well. They experienced the intensity of an American Indian attack and the sorrow and survival of taking someone's life in self defense. They were reminded of the reasons American Indians would feel pushed to attack. The story is very intense at times, but isn't real life?
We enjoyed the study guide as we always do. The study guide is 38 pages long and can be read on the website or printed off. I read it off the website this time. My kids' only disappointment was that there was no recipe included in the study guide this time. They love cooking. We may make some cowboy baked beans on our own. The study guide did include in each chapter the following:
- Listening Well ~ Questions to ask your children to help them with comprehension and listening skills
- Thinking Further ~ Helps children pick parts from the story and think about them or research them
- Defining Words ~ Vocabulary that will help them build their knowledge of the story
Many of the chapters also have a section called Expand Your Learning. This section delves more deeply into things that make the story richer, such as understanding Victorian Money. Understanding the value of money and how much things were worth during Victorian times makes this story come to life even more.
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