Monday, October 1

Wulf the Saxon audiobook {Review}

This review was originally published February 2018 on our Gypsy Road site.

Heirloom Audio Productions produces wonderful professional audio dramas that bring history to life for the entire family.   As a travelling family, we enjoy listening to audiobooks regularly, and we have been long time Heirloom Audio enthusiasts.  We had the chance to review Wulf the Saxon, along with its study guide and bonuses, and it was an aural delight! 

It’s based on the G.A.Henty book – Wulf the Saxon– in which Wulf, a teenaged Saxon, is learning to be a respected landowner.  When Wulf and his friend, Harold, find themselves shipwrecked on the shores of Normandy in the year 1065, a desperate struggle for the throne of England begins. In a series of events that change the course of history, Wulf finds himself in a bitter war with the Welsh on a battlefield outside the village of Hastings.  The Battle of Hastings comes alive in this story straight from the Middle Ages!

To be honest, this isn't an era of history that I'm in love with, so I wasn't sure what to expect from the book.  There's a lot of history on the unification of England, as well as the Saxons versus the Normans.  The quality, however, is superb!  When the Saxons shipwreck, the audio is so well done that it feels like you're actually in the ocean with them!

The way I see it, there are two real problems with these audio books.  First, if you're the driver, then it's really easy to get caught up in the story and kind of zone out on the driving...or maybe that's just me.  Secondly, unless you have a long car trip ahead of you, you're going to reach your destination and then want to sit in the car until the story ends just to hear the rest of it.  It's kind of like when "American Pie" comes on the radio, and you have to wait through the last two verses before getting out of the car....

We are history lovers around here, so reviews like this are exciting for our entire family. Listening to the two-CD set in the car was a simple thing for us, and it's ideal for giving a richer understanding of history.  The boys are really into ancient history, including the medieval times, and listening to this led into a trip down memory lane from when we went to Medieval Times!
When we arrived at home, the boys were still lost back in the middle ages.  They immediately set to work creating weaponry and shields so that they could recreate the Battle of Hastings!

About the Author & Production Company
G. A. Henty was a prolific author in the 1800s who wrote many books in the historical fiction genre. Henty wrote about true historical characters and events, and added a fictional young person to the narrative.  Henty’s books are about men being men, and boys learning to be men. This is stated to be for ages six through adult, but my youngest was still a bit confused on some of the details, so occasionally we’d stop the story and talk about it.
Heirloom Audio Productions are very professionally done - both the acting and the background work - and are a delight to listen to…even the one child that usually steers away from audiobooks was loving it!  As we own every Heirloom book, my boys have figured out their ‘pattern,’ and take great pleasure in being the first to guess what the next release will be.  Our clue at the end of this book was “Battle of Agincourt on St. Crispin's Day…”  Can you guess what the next one will be?  (Scroll down, if you’re just not up to guessing.)
The adventures are available as physical CD sets (which is our preference) or downloadable for easy digital access.  In addition to the CDs, Heirloom offers listeners its Live the Adventure Club. The Live the Adventure Club offers many exclusive extras to augment your listening experience, including a soundtrack, a follow-along e-book, and chapter quizzes and activities.  There are also coloring pages, crossword puzzles, hands-on crafts, and a poster.  The parents’ section of the page offers up daily inspiration, educational supplements, podcasts, movie reviews, and background information on G.A. Henty.   

One of the biggest educational assets of the Live the Adventure Club is the Study Guide & Conversation Starter.  It has forty pages of chapter-by-chapter comprehension questions, discussion starters, and vocabulary words.  Also included is some map work, details of this historical era, and three Bible study guides that focus on the main character morals of the story.  Currently, there is not a study guide available for Wulf the Saxon, but there will eventually be one.  All of the other audio adventures already have study guides available.
Finally, the Club hosts several old textbooks (we're talking 18th and 19th century old) and Old-Timey radio shows.  The radio shows were a wonderful surprise to stumble upon as our family LOVES listening to the Radio Classics channel!  (The image above is all of the shows just under the WWII heading...and there are many more topics!)

Wulf the Saxon is an audiobook we'll listen to many times, and we're excited to see that Heirloom has more productions in the works. Not only are your kids learning to love history, but they're also discovering the strong moral character that drove great men to do extraordinary things.

See what others are saying about Wulf the Saxon at the Homeschool Review Crew!

(answer : At Agincourt)
Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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