Heirloom Audio Productions recently sent us an audio drama for review. I had heard many positive reports of the G.A. Henty books in the homeschooling community, but had never read any of them to my children. Under Drake’s Flag is an audio drama adaptation of the book, Under Drake’s Flag, by G.A. Henty. It follows the adventures of Sir Francis Drake.
About the Product
This two-CD set is available for $29.95 (prices accurate at the time of this review and subject to change) plus shipping and handling ($5.95). Included in the set is a condensed study guide booklet in the CD case and access to a free PDF download of a longer companion study guide. The running time for the audio is two hours. It is recommended for ages 6- adult.
The audio drama is produced by Bill Heid and directed by John Fornof. This movie-quality radio drama features an acclaimed British actor, Brian Blessed. The award-winning sound designer, Mark Drury is known for his work on The Chronicle of Narnia Audio Series. You will recognize the style of the musical score if you are fans of the Adventures in Odyssey radio series. Composer John Campbell is credited with their music along with other popular audio dramas.
The conflict between England and Spain for control of the high seas provides a dramatic backdrop to the story. The high-seas adventure includes sword fights, encounters with pirates, a rescue in shark-infested waters following the journey of two boys becoming men under the influence of their hero Sir Francis Drake. The boys are learning to conquer their fears and grow their faith aboard The Golden Hinde. They also are faced with some of the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. Your children will see history come alive in this action-packed story and will want to listen to it again and again.
The condensed version of the study guide included in the CD set is in booklet form and is meant to help parents or teachers better understand the principles and storyline of the drama. There are sets of questions for each part of the story and each set of questions is broken down as follows:
- Listening Well – these questions are intended to help with recall and listening comprehension.
- Thinking Further – these questions help you delve deeper into the nuances of the story and increase interest. Helping you speculate and come to conclusions about the story is also part of this section.
- Defining Words – a list of words in the story to learn. No definitions are given.
The end of the booklet has three topical Bible study suggestions that come from themes in the story. Godly Character, True Manhood, and Confessing Christ.
The free downloadable PDF Study Guide is the full version of the condensed booklet. It is 27 pages long and includes many more questions and vocabulary words than the booklet. There is also a helpful list of resources for more study of Sir Francis Drake.
How We Used this Resource
We first listened to this drama on a 12 hour road trip. It was a great way to keep the kids entertained in the car and it enraptured the entire family from my four-year old to dad. After returning home, we listened again and used some of the questions from the study guide to help us deepen our understanding of the story. I plan to pull this audio out again when we study the Spanish Inquisition and encounter Sir Francis Drake in our history studies in the future. I think the study guide would also be useful as a springboard for essay writing. Middle schoolers on up should find plenty of material for short character descriptions or thematic essays within the study guide.
Connect with Heirloom Audio Productions on Facebook for updates on their upcoming new releases. In Freedom’s Cause, the story behind the life and legacy of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce is scheduled to be released in November.
Read what other crew members had to say about Under Drake’s Flag clicking on the graphic below.