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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Schoolhouse Crew Review: With Lee in Virginia

We were excited to have an opportunity to review the latest release from Heirloom Audio Productions, With Lee in Virginia.

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review
Heirloom Audio Productions is passionate about bringing real history to life.  Their active listening audio dramas are fast paced and uses many different types of sound effects and music to transport the listener back in time and immerse them in the story.  There are 3 different audio dramas at the time of this writing: With Lee in Virginia, In Freedom's Cause, and Under Drake's Flag.  

With Lee in Virginia is based on the book With Lee in Virginia by G.A. Henty.  It is geared for ages 6-adult.  There are some intense moments in the story, but it is not bloody or gory and I had no problems with my 4 year old listening as well.  The story is around 2 1/2 hours long and is split up into 2 separate CDs.  It is narrated by Brian Blessed and other names that may be familiar to you include: Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, Rudy, Mom's Night Out) as Gen Jeb Stuart, Kirk Cameron (Fireproof, Monumental, Left Behind) as Gen Johnston, Chris Anthony (Adventures in Odyssey) as Mary Lee, Kelsey Lansdowne (Curious George, Batman Arkham Origins) as Lucy Kingston, and many more.

Fifteen year old Vincent Wingfield lives on a southern plantation.  One moment he is helping a slave escape north to freedom after being mistreated by his master and the next he has joined the cavalry of the army of Northern Virginia and is soon fighting alongside some of the most famous Confederate generals.  Vincent is very inspired by General Lee's devotion to God and his sense of duty and his heroic actions could cost him his life.
There are several options for purchasing With Lee in Virginia. There is an mp3 download option for $19.97 and comes with a study guide and a downloadable copy of a quote by Robert E. Lee.  Or you can purchase the physical CD set for $29.97 that includes the following bonuses: downloadable study guide, printable quote by General Lee, and the mp3 soundtrack.  Or you can purchase a 4 pack for $99.97 that includes the same bonuses as the single CD set plus unlimited access to the Live the Adventure newsletter, G.A Henty's With Lee in Virginia ebook, and a With Lee in Virginia poster.

The Downloadable Study Guide is a great way to expand on the lessons children learned by listening to the audio drama.  The guide is divided into 3 different sections:

Listening Well- Asks questions about what your child heard 

Thinking Further- Digs a little deeper.  Children may need to look up answers or speculate or draw conclusions about characters intentions or actions.

Defining Words- Vocabulary words that children need to define

There is a set of questions for each track on the CD. The guide also contains information on G.A. Henty, General Lee, and General Stonewall Jackson.  At the end of the guide there is a recommended reading list for further study and two different Bible studies.  There is also a section on sectionalism and slavery in the Bible.

I was excited to have the opportunity to review With Lee in Virginia because we loved the other two audio dramas from this company.  We listened to it on our way to and from the museum one day (a little over an hour drive each way.)  My children 13,11,10,8,6, and 4 were all in the vehicle with me and audiobooks can be a great way to pass the time while driving.  It was fantastic!  I loved the characters, and especially the music and sound effects.  The narrator is fantastic!  With Lee in Virginia tells a great story of a difficult time in America's history and has a great message for us all.  It is my favorite of the three audio dramas from Heirloom Audio Productions and we will be listening to it again when we study the Civil War later on this year.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!
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