Review of Beric the Briton from Heirloom Audio Productions10:35 AM
It's a hot summer, which means my kids like to be inside enjoying books, videos or audio CD's. This past month, my family has had the chance to enjoy listening to Beric the Briton from Heirloom Audio Productions. As this wasn't our first experience with the Heirloom Audio products, we knew that we were in for some high-quality entertainment!
If you haven't tried any of their productions, I'll give you some background. These are feature-length audio stories, narrated and voiced by big name actors that you've probably seen or heard in other productions. My boys really like that they can identify many of the voice actors in the productions; it keeps their interest! This particular production, Beric the Briton, featured the voices of Brian Blessed (Tarzan, Star Wars, Robin Hood), Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, Braveheart), Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Honeysuckle Weeks (Foyle's War), Cathy Sara (Downton Abbey), and our favorite -- John Ryhs-Davies (The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones.) All of the strong acting really help make this story come alive!
Based on a book by G.A. Henty, Beric the Briton is a tale of high adventure. While I usually think of Henty's stories as perfect for boys, they really can be a family affair. I'm just usually pretty impressed that I can take my squirrely group of 5 boys and have them sit still for 2.5 hours to listen. (We do pause between discs, usually breaking them up between two days.) Unlike other "school" products we've reviewed, this really feels morel like pure entertainment, although I know that there is historical and moral learning happening when the kids listen.
The story of the Roman invasion of ancient Britannia is a favorite topic for my history-crazed boys, and Henty's telling is truly superb. I don't know of anyone who won't be fascinated by the story of being enslaved, raised up to be a Gladiator, and then placed into service under Emperor Nero. The story further tells the rumor or Christ and how people of that day must have reacted to a new way of life and the promise of forgiveness and love. The Christian themes are powerful, but they add to the story, unlike some tales that switch the focus from history to morality.
Once you are done listening, there are ample opportunities to continue the discussion and "teachable" moments with your family. Downloads are included with the disc that include a 40+ page study guide, The guide takes you scene by scene through the story, giving kids and grownups a chance to dig in further into the history of the narration, but more importantly -- helps you dive into Scripture to see how God's teachings reinforce the main themes of the story. I find the study guides from Heirloom Audio Productions to be some of the best on the market. They really give kids credit to be able to use critical thinking to apply God's truth in all things, including history. We actually paused our home Bible study for a bit and used the Study Guide as our lesson plan for the time. It has everything needed to engage family members of all ages and challenge you to grow.
There are other digital bonuses included in the purchase of this product, including audio files, soundtrack, ebook, and behind the scenes bonuses. It's a very good value and something you can use for years to come!
Learn more about the amazing folks at Heirloom Audio Productions on their social media accounts. They are always cooking up new things, and you can be the first to hear about their next production! See them at the Beric the Briton Facebook, G.A. Henty's series page on Facebook, Heirloom Audio's Facebook, Heirloom Audio on Twitter, Heirloom Audio on G+, and Heirloom Audio on IG!
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