My family had the privilege of listening to the Heirloom Audio Productions Beric The Briton for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.
My family and I love audio books! We love to listen to them while: I am multitasking, we have a long drive ahead of us, or there is cruddy weather and we are stuck inside. My family usually enjoys them better if they are fun and adventuresome. I believe they are better than movies because audio books require more imagination which is great for growing minds.
Beric The Briton is Heirloom Audio's 5th dramatization which is adapted from a novel by George Alfred Henty. G.A. Henty authored many historical fiction novels in the late 1800's and early 1900's, including Beric The Briton in 1893. All five Christian audio dramas are from Heirloom Audio's series known as The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty. This audio production and theatrical radio drama consists of 2 and a half hours of masterful storytelling on 2 CDs recommended for ages 6-adult. I cannot say enough good things about this. Really, the presentation is very extraordinary! It brings the history to life.
This audio theater follows Beric The Briton, a chieftain of a tribe, and his best friend Bodouc as they are captured by Romans, trained as gladiators, and placed in the service of Emperor Nero himself as a personal bodyguard! This is the story of the imperial Rome invasion of Pagan Britain and how the story of the Christus and his newfound faith helps Beric on his journey.
|inside the case to Beric The Briton audio theater|
I had some definite favorite parts of the Christian radio theatre. I loved the bravery of Beric when he saved his enemy and son from drowning. I loved the part where Julius took Beric and Bodouc to meet with Caius and Amelia in Rome and how Beric saved Amelia from the Lion.
Along with the 2 CD audio theater set I also received many other awesome package bonus downloads. The 2 CD set also has a list of the cast on the back of the case, a pamphlet insert that has a bit about Heirloom Audio's other audio dramas, and in the center under where the pamphlet goes is a quote from Julius. This quote also comes as a digital download so you can print it out as a poster to put on your wall.
Beric The Briton Single Package (what I am mentioning in this review) includes:
- Beric The Briton (CD Set - Physical Copy + MP3 Download Version)
- Beric The Briton Study Guide (Digital Download)
- Beric The Briton Soundtrack (MP3 Download)
- Printable copy of The Quote Of Julius (Digital Download)
The Schoolhouse Review Crew that received this for review received all of the above and these additional bonuses:
- Beric The Briton eBook (Digital Download)
- Beric The Briton Cast Poster (Digital Download)
- Beric The Briton Behind the Scenes Documentary (Digital Download)
- Newsletter Website (Link)
The all-star cast in this audio book is expansive and amazing. Some of the cast consists of Brian Blessed as G.A. Henty (Star Wars, Tarzan, King Lear), Brian Cox as Nero (The Bourne Identity, Braveheart), Tom Baker as Aska (Dr. Who), Honeysuckle Weeks as Boadicea (Foyle's War), Cathy Sara as Parta (Downton Abbey), and John Rhys-Davies as The Druid Priest (The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones). It is always great to hear the boisterous voice of Brian Blessed on these productions. All of the cast's performances are wonderful! The character building is so wonderful as long as you can keep up.
There is also a study guide that is 50 pages long. It has discussion points and questions to ask your children as they listen to the program. This is wonderful to use as part of a history curriculum while homeschooling. It is really easier to listen to the whole program before you do the study guide and then listen again a second time to do the study guide, in my opinion. It feels awkward to stop and start the program so many times (every 4 to 10 minutes) during play. The study guide does have the tracks and timestamp to stop at marked in the guide so you know where the narrative takes a new turn.
At the beginning of the study guide there are brief descriptions about G.A. Henty, Nerō Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, and Queen Boadicea. Each track has questions in the study guide having three parts: Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words. There are questions in the Listening Well section which are to see if you and your child are really paying attention. There are questions in the Thinking Further section that helps you understand deeper and get you and your child thinking more. The Defining Words section is a list of words that will enhance the vocabulary of your child and places more meaning for the story. Having a dictionary handy might be appropriate because the definitions are not already spelled out.
At the end of the study guide there are five main parts. The first gives us a recommended reading list for learning more about Britons and Romans in the 1st Century. Then there is some historical background for Beric The Briton. After that there are three Bible Studies: one on The Importance of Studying History, one on Thou Shalt Not Kill, and one on One Way. Lastly there is a bit about The Significance of The Colosseum In Christianity.
My children learned and understood so much more with this study guide. We used the questions and Bible study section throughout and it made for a very lengthy, but interesting discussion session with my older kids. I am very glad that it was included. I love the scriptures it had you look up and ponder too. I also love that there were recipes in this guide (Disc 2 Track 3 & Disc 2 Track 8) where you can make your own "Roman Apple Cake" and "Children's Roman Noodle Bake" which sounds very yummy. The information about the types of gladiators and virtual tour of Ancient Rome was very interesting as well. I do wish, however, that there was an answer guide as well to the questions, because it would make the whole thing flow better in my opinion.
This was a very good production and my family enjoyed listening to it thoroughly. The character Beric was brave, heroic, virtuous, courageous, and forgiving. We loved how even in the face of danger he stood up for what he believed to be right.
Three options to choose from: Download version for $19.97, Single Version for $29.97, and the Family Four Pack for $99.97.
Follow Them on Social Media:
Beric The Briton Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/BericTheBriton
The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty series FB page - https://www.facebook.com/TheExtraordinaryAdventuresOfGAHenty
Heirloom Audio Productions social pages
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HeirloomAudio
Twitter - https://twitter.com/HeirloomStories
Google+ - https://plus.google.com/b/114534826166314080647/114534826166314080647
Instagram - @HeirloomAudioOfficial
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