Audio Review: "Under Drake's Flag"

The following CDs were provided by Heirloom Audio Productions for the purpose of this TOS Schoolhouse Crew review.
We live way back in the woods, lovingly dubbed "the middle of nowhere." It is quite peaceful, but the location means when we get in the car to go almost anywhere it takes nearly an hour. In part because of that, our family enjoys listening to audio books. Our favorites are the ones that include sound effects and different characters instead of one voice reading a story. Under Drake's Flag is such a treasure. More than just an audio book, it is truly an audio drama. Under Drake's Flag is the very first dramatization by Heirloom Audio Productions and is produced by Bill Heid. Marketed as "ideal for ages 6-adult," our entire family (10 years old and older) has enjoyed listening to these CDs over and over. 

Under Drake's Flag is available as a 2 CD set for $29.95. Though we have several Henty titles (written over 100 years ago) on our bookshelf and Kindle, only one had been read by my son and none by me before listening to this audio drama. Listening to this has made us want to read and listen to more of "The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty." 

In addition to the CDs, each set includes a study guide and copy of the prayer of Sir Frances Drake inside the case. Access is also provided to a larger downloadable PDF study guide which includes questions, vocabulary, bibliography, and a Bible study guide. A recommended reading list for parents is also included. 

The background sounds of this production enrich the story with waves crashing, doors squeaking on old hinges, and even little noises like a letter being opened. G. A. Henty had an engaging style of weaving boys he knew into historical tales as he shared with them stories of war. Ned and Gerald are his main characters in this particular story. This production combines a quality historical story with modern technology to make the timeless tale a format even digital natives enjoy. The drama is recorded in London, and the British actors lend even more authenticity to the characters. 
"Histories most daring expositions and greatest adventures...
From the shimming sands of ancient Egypt to the misty wildwoods of Patagonia, 
discover stories of daring and determination, 
character and courage
from history's master of storytelling, 
the extraordinary adventures of G. A. Henty." 
Depending on your heritage you may know him as "The dreaded English Privateer Sir Frances Drake" or as the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. Knighted by the Queen, Sir Frances Drake is a pirate worth studying. 

This audio book set in the 1500's has increased our understanding of history during that time period. These CDs have been added to our library of family favorites. 
"It's a story that pits faith against fear."

Henty's story teaches loyalty and courage but it is not without violence. Famous historical figures are woven into the story. The time period covers The Spanish Inquisition which is made real through the characters' experiences. A Spanish princess was even a frequent element throughout the story. Ned and Gerald's adventures on and off of the Golden Hind make history come to life. The story includes intrigue and answered prayers.

The inspiring prayer of Sir Frances Drake is included in the case and available as a download to print. 

"Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly...
...And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love."

Bill Heid shared one of his favorite quotes by Frederick Douglass "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." He wrote that Henty books are a very good place to start to "take the role of active parenting during "the critical years" (so that) we can grow strong children with godly moral compasses."

We were excited to learn just this week that Heirloom Audio Productions is currently recording their next Henty audio drama: In Freedom's CauseFollow Under Drake's Flag on Facebook to find out more about this upcoming release. It is already on my wishlist. Although Under Drake's Flag was reviewed through TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew, I think any family, homeschoolers or not, would enjoy listening to this production. 

Under Drake's Flag Reviews

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