If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this special package that arrived in our mail recently.
I took this "secret weapon" with us on our big road trip to Nevada earlier this month: With Lee in Virginia, the latest audio drama from Heirloom Audio. I was so thrilled to be selected to review it. We really enjoyed reviewing Under Drake's Flag and In Freedom's Cause, also from Heirloom, so we had high expectations for With Lee in Virginia.
It did not disappoint. In fact, the riveting story line kept the entire family silent and spell bound for well over 2 hours, causing the miles to fly by painlessly. This was pretty impressive, considering there were 10 people in our van!
The star studded cast included Kirk Cameron, Sean Astin, Brian Blessed, Chris Anthony, Kelsey Lansdowne, and Jim Weiss. One fascinating little tidbit for you... Kirk Cameron's twelve year old son, James, plays the role of Will Upton, with father and son working together for the first time.
Heirloom Audio does an incredibly professional production. They take timeless classic books by G. A. Henty and turn them into radio dramas that are exciting, entertaining, and accessible. The sound effects were fabulous, and I have to confess, the story made me tear up a couple of times. (I cry at just about everything these days.)
We received the 2 CD set in tri-fold case, along with online access to the downloadable study guide. The study guide is a great way to really delve deeper into understanding the story. It features not just discussion questions, but also words to define. I've noticed with my kids, they just sort of mentally skip words they don't yet understand, and when we take the time to define them, I can see the light go on for them. It's like when the teens see a movie again that they used to watch all the time as little kids, and suddenly they "get" so much more of what's going on. They catch little things they hadn't understood before.
The impressive study guide also contains biographical information on some of the real life main characters in the story, as well as maps, links and historical photographs and drawings. With Lee in Virginia would be an excellent addition to a homeschool study of American history or the Civil War era. The study guide helps parents navigate discussion of challenging topics like towns and even families divided by Northern and Southern loyalties, and also slavery, and the ramifications of slave ownership for individual people. The thought provoking questions could easily lead to a full unit study.
The G. A. Henty books are great "boy stories." Tales of bravery and honor. Real men of history, doing the right thing in the face of adversity. I'm so glad that we can listen to these stories that are perfect for Jack, even though he's not reading at this level yet.
I can't wait to see what the folks at Heirloom Audio bring us next! You can connect with Heirloom Audio on Facebook, G+ and Twitter. You can also follow With Lee in Virginia on Facebook. Read what other Crew families have to say about With Lee in Virginia by clicking the box below.
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