When our family was introduced to Heirloom Audio Productions last year, we discovered a CD that we could not get enough of. Last month, we were blessed to receive In Freedom's Cause Single Package to review and can honestly say we cannot get enough of this awesome audio theater.
In Freedom's Cause has played over and over again in our minivan in the past month. I think the only time it has not been on when we've been out and about has been when we have forgotten to bring it back to our vehicle after taking it inside to listen to during chores and playtime. We just love it!
For our review, we received:
- In Freedom's Cause (a 2-CD Set)
- In Freedom's Cause Study Guide (a digital download)
- In Freedom's Cause Soundtrack (an MP3 download)
- a printable copy of The Prayer Of William Wallace. (a digital download)
We also received links to a few extra special bonuses, such as a 30-minute video documentary with the cast, crew and actors of In Freedom's Cause in the studio, which we watched as a family.
"You know what, Mom? I wish I could write audio dramas. I want to make things like In Freedom's Cause." My oldest son commented to me after watching this documentary and listening to the audio CD's.
Yep. In Freedom's Cause is inspiring! It comes alive with:
- faith and values
- rich vocabulary
- discussion opportunities
- characters that you cannot help but to cheer for
- and, an engaging tale of Scotland's fight for freedom.
The first time we listened to In Freedom's Cause, we were headed out for a Sabbath day family walk. No sooner did we arrive at the trailhead parking lot then did our children beg us to "...please wait. Please let us finish one more track..." before exiting our minivan.
Indeed, before our children had even heard the entire In Freedom's Cause audio theater production, they were already swept up in the engaging story of Wallace and the Bruce. As a result, once we commenced our hike, our children quickly found sticks and began to enact the swashbuckling saga of Scots fighting for freedom that had captured their imaginations.
All along the trail, our children dramatized the latest G.A. Henty story that Heirloom Audio Productions had brought to life for them.
Then, when we returned to our minivan, the children gladly buckled in to listen to the rest of In Freedom's Cause, which we have all come agree is far more than just an audiobook adaptation of a classic piece of literature. In fact, it is a dramatic "radio theater" type saga, wherein music, sound effects and the voices of a star-studded cast come together to offer a complete auditory feast that ignites imaginations, immerses listeners in history come to life, and inspires souls with examples of faith!
Bedtime chats, free time play, mealtime conversations and more in our home have all been affected by our introduction to In Freedom's Cause. Time and time again, I hear my children talking and giggling about the story. I have also introduced thoughts and ideas from the In Freedom's Cause Study Guide to the children during informal discussions.
For us, there is no need to use the comprehension questions included in the the 49-page, full-color study guide ebook, which comes in printable PDF form. That is not because the questions are not excellent. It is simply because my children's impromptu conversations and dramatic play evidence that they understand the story even without the questions. Truly, my children spontaneously narrate parts of In Freedom's Cause with accuracy just because they love it so.
However, should I ever want my children to work on the skill of writing answers for comprehension questions, I will surely pull from the "Listening Well" segments of the study guide, since these segments pose well-written, specific questions for each segment of the In Freedom's Cause story.
There are also "Thinking Further" questions in the Study Guide, which encourage listeners to move past the surface of the story, digging deeper into interpretation and take aways. Some of the material in these questions has played into my family's informal discussions about In Freedom's Cause, and, when my children are a bit older, may become fodder for exercises in how to answer open response questions.
The Study Guide also offers vocabulary lists, which we did not attack formally, but which I found helpful anyway. You see, when we listen to In freedom's Cause, my children naturally ask, "Mommy, what does ____ mean?" in response to the rich vocabulary used within the audio drama. The Study Guide vocabulary lists, then, are handy so I can be sure I know which words they might ask me about.
Three Bible studies are also included in the Study Guide. These compliment and extend the faith ideas that are seamlessly woven into the script of Wallace and the Bruce.
A Word About In Freedom's Cause from Each of Us
Every person in our family has positive things to say about In Freedom's Cause.
Jack (age 4) said:
It was a fun story. The Scottish win. I like it.He has also been known to say, "I'm Ned. Who are you? Sir John Kerr?" when challenging Daddy to duct tape weapon battles.
Dad has said:
There's nothing I disliked about In Freedom's Cause. I found it entertaining... engaging... I loved the Scottish accents... It gives a lot of history, entertains you, brings historical characters to life... t does not go over the top with battles scenes but makes clear the intensity of the people involved and their passion for fighting go Scotland.
Dad has also been regularly practicing his Scottish accent, much to the amusement of all of us. Little is cuter than when he and the kids model after lines from the story trying to sound like Scots!
Luke (age 9) has commented"
That CD inspired me. I wish I could write audio dramas... I like how they are narrating and like you are actually there.
My favorite part is the battle where Bruce defeats his enemy.
I hope they (Heirloom Audio Productions) make one about the American Revolutionary War, too.
And, Nina (age 7) keys into the humor of the audio theater when she has said:
I thought the part where the girl said, "What is a boy doing down on the ground looking up at a girl up in a tree?" was funny. (Nina always gets excited by the female characters included in Heirloom Audio Production stories!)
When they use the goat woo, that was so funny. "That s the most desperate thing I have ever heard in my life...." (Imagine my little girl breaking into fits of giggles as she puts on a Scottish accent and continues to narrate what she recalls of the goat woo scene.)
And when they talk about Wallace, it's funny, like when he was shot in the neck with an arrow and just said "That hurt my neck a great deal," or when he was fishing and had to face an enemy.
And me? I think it's pretty clear, I love In Freedom's Cause for so many reasons. Among them:
- It is a "page turner" of an audio drama which keeps us all riveted. (That means excited listening during minivan trips instead of potential bickering.)
- It gets the adrenaline going with stories of real-life history. (This, in turn, inspires my children to re-enact the excitement of the story in their imaginative dramatizations and lively conversations thereby integrating academics into enjoyment.)
- It reinforces strong faith and values like freedom, courage, character. (I love when my children connect to characters that integrate faith and strong morality into life.)
- It feeds our family's appetite for history and adventure. (I would much rather have my children involved with living history than mere twaddle.)
- It honors my theater-loving side with a strong blend of fast-moving, blood-pumping drama and tension-breaking, giggle-inducing humor (As a former actress and creative dramatics teacher, I love theater. Without questions, this presentation of G.A. Henty's In Freedom's Cause IS audio theater!)
In Freedom's Cause definitely ranks among our family's favorite CD's and has become the most requested audio in our minivan of late. I cannot recommend it more enthusiastically to others who enjoy audio dramas as well as to those who may not hitherto have listened to audio theater as a family.
I will, however, add one caveat: Although In Freedom's Cause is a family-friendly audio drama, those with sensitive children may want to preview the action-packed adventure before listening to it in its entirety as a family. My whole family (including our 4-year-old) loved the CD and did not find any of it too intense. However, some children may find parts of the Scottish fight for freedom disturbing.
Find In Freedom's Cause on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
- Listen to a 60-second story summary online or enjoy a video introduction.
- Read and watch a video about how Heirloom Audio Productions invested passion in bringing real history alive while researching this active listening audio adventure.
- Order your own copy of In Freedom's Cause, a high-quality audio production which features acclaimed actors, state-of-the art sound design, and an in exciting music score.
The 2 CD-set In Freedom's Cause that we reviewed is available for $29.95. If you order this CD-set, you will get a downloadable study guide, a prayer poster and an MP3 of the audio drama as free bonuses. Heirloom Audio Productions also offers several other packages to suit differing needs and budget. These range from a $19.97 downloadable MP3 and bonus materials package to a $249.97 Patriot Package that includes multiple bonuses and 25 copies of In Freedom's Cause to give away.
- Discover what other families thought about In Freedom's Cause by reading reviews at:
- Stay abreast of Heirloom Audio Productions next awesome audio adventure, With Lee in Virginia on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.