Awesome History Audio Series for kids and families.
The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty by Heirloom Audio Productions
We love audio books and audio dramas – can’t get enough of them. When Steve was working for 23 years as an advertising account executive he would regularly go to the public library and check out a number of audio books every three weeks and listen to them as he drove around to client meetings.
When we took the kids on driving vacations we’d take several audio books with us also. Working on projects around the house – like painting a room and trimming trees in the yard are also perfect times for listening to them as well.
Recently we were contacted by Bill Heid from Off the Grid Radio to preview a new audio drama project he was working on through Heirloom Audio Productions. Bill is a great guy and when we heard that the he was using top rated actors/actresses (see the list below (you’re sure to recognize several from “The Lord of the Rings,” “Downton Abbey” and “ Fireproof”) along with superb quality sound designers from the “Adventures in Odyssey” series, we jumped at the chance to preview the series. These aren’t just short stories, but they are 2 hours to 2 1/2 hour long dramatic presentations – they have been dubbed “Disney for the Ears.” They are just that good.
The entire series is designed to bring to life the historical novels of G.A. Henty (1832 – 1902). While the stories are historically accurate, what we love the most is the melding of courage and faith that Henty weaves into every story. His heroes experience deep emotions as they wrestle with seemingly impossible obstacles. Their faith fails at times, but is always bolstered as they walk through their battles, instead of running from them. You’ll find great inspiration for your own life and for your children too.
Heirloom Audio Productions first dramatic production was Under Drakes Flag where a young boy, Ned Hawkshaw, is given the opportunity to sail with Sir Frances Drake. During the story, Ned experiences and survives a shipwreck, fights off sharks, and comes face to face with the terrors of the Spanish Inquisition. It was fantastic.
Free Sample Audio Chapter
- You can listen to an entire chapter with all of the drama, music and sound effects here. You will need to give them your email address to listen to the preview of Under Drakes Flag.
We’ve also listened with rapt attention to The Dragon and the Raven, a story about young King Alfred of Wessex standing against the vicious Danes who ravaged England in 875 A.D. The tale portrays the ravages of war, the courage of men (young and old) who faced overwhelming odds of survival with faith in God and their companions. The battle scenes are realistic and as a result could be a little scary for children under the age of eight to listen to. However, we believe that the way Henty wrote and the way the audio theater portrays the scenes gives the listener a great understanding into the hearts and minds of the people who experienced these days in history.
The other story that we absolutely loved was With Lee in Virginia. This story follows the life of young Vincent Wingfield as he grows up in the South seeing the injustice of slavery and his work to treat slaves with compassion and humanity. We listened intently as he wrestled with his conscience, trying to decide whether he should stand with the South to protect their way of life or to avoid the conflict and protect slaves. The story is compelling as we found ourselves drawn into the lives of the people in the story.
Award Winning Production
Heirloom’s In Freedom’s Cause, which tells the “faith story” behind Scottish hero William Wallace, won four Voice Arts Awards in Hollywood, including one for Outstanding Production. This riveting rendition follows a young boy, Ned, as he tags along with Wallace and witnesses history unfold as Scotland gains independence from the British crown. The movie Braveheart, staring Mel Gibson chronicled Wallace’s fight for freedom. But unlike that popular movie, In Freedom’s Cause follows the historical facts closely and recounts how Wallace was a strong man of God.
In Freedom’s Cause won the following awards:
Audiobook Narration (in two categories)
You’ll be amazed at the care and extensive research the team went through to produce Freedom’s Cause. This video gives an amazing behind the scenens view of how much effort was invested in this project! It is awesome!
Excellent Production Quality
As you listen to these stories you’ll feel like you’re watching an epic movie in the theater. The sound quality is incredible – the sound effects are realistic and the actors are by far some of the best in the industry. They spared no expense to bring in well-known and award winning talent such as:
- Chris Anthony – Adventures in Odyssey and The voice of Barbie (Mattel)
- Sean Astin— The Lord of the Rings, Mom’s Night Out, and Rudy.
- John Bell—The Hobbit
- Brian Blessed – Star Wars, Tarazan and King Lear
- Kirk Cameron – Fireproof, Monumental and Left Behind
- Joanne Froggatt—Downton Abbey
- Helen George—Call the Midwife
- Skandar Keynes—Chronicles of Narnia
- Sylvester McCoy—Doctor Who VII and The Hobbit
- John Ryhs-Davies— The Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones
About G.A. Henty
George Alfred Henty (8 December 1832 – 16 November 1902) was an amazing English author and war correspondent. He penned more than 100 novels and short stories. He is noted for writing historically accurate narratives with a flare for highlighting the courage, faith, honesty, and resourcefulness his heroes.
One movie was made from Henty’s works — A Final Reckoning was released in 1929, about a brother and sister in Australia searching for their father’s lost gold mine. Unfortunately the movie is no longer available.
If you’re taking a drive this summer (or any time for that matter) be sure to pack along some of these audio dramas, not only will they make the time fly by, but you’ll have plenty of great conversations about the situations, choices and lives that are portrayed. What a great opportunity to discuss the importance of courage, honesty, valor, daring, creativity and faith with your children.
The folks at Heirloom Audio Productions are continuing to create new dramas, so check out their website for their latest releases!