Beric The Briton: A Story of the Roman Invasion Audiobook {a Crew Review}

I love to read, don’t you? Reading does so much for our minds, attitudes, imagination, vocabulary… you name it! Reading really has no downside. Unless of course you are supposed to be doing the dishes (or laundry or making dinner) and you choose to pick up a book and read instead. This is where audio books come in! Audio books give us the ability to listen, learn and keep on truckin’. The latest audio book we enjoyed was G.A. Henty’s Beric the Briton, one of the Jim Hodges Productions. We received the MP3 CD and a Study Guide (PDF) to go along with it.

The physical CD is available for $25.00. The digital download version is $18.00 and the optional (but totally worth it!!) Study Guide is $12.00.
Note: The physical CDs won’t be available for shipment until December 5, 2014.
If you can’t wait that long, go for the INSTANT digital download!

With 21 chapters and just over 13 hours of reading, this one will definitely need to be broken up over several days. We listened to it during lunch / supper prep times and the littles’ naptime. The individual chapters run between 35 and 55 minutes a piece.

I do want to stress that this is an MP3 CD (or download) which means computers and CD players can play them, but DVD players… not so much. To most families this isn’t a concern. We however have no working CD players in the house or the van so we had to play it on the laptop- still not really a big deal but wanted to give you a heads up.

Beric the Briton: A Story of the Roman Invasion is set in AD 61 Europe. Beric is a young Brittish boy-chief who tries in vain to fight against Rome it’s mighty army. After his capture, he learns much from the Roman people. So much is history and geography is covered, beyond what you will find in most books, except Henty’s of course :). Oscar favored the gladiator scenes and learning about the gladiatorial schools. Julia was captivated by the description of Nero’s palace and courts. Overall, we all enjoyed this VERY much and were a bit sad when it was over.

Where did the G.A. Henty stories come from?

Born in 1832, Henty’s story telling began where most story telling begins, with our children. With some prompting, he eventually began writing his historical fiction stories down. He spent much of his life studying different time periods and writing (or dictating). By his death in 1901 he had written 122 books.
Jim Hodges currently offers 22 of Henty’s books in audio form. These are so much than just stories. They are historically accurate, highly engaging tales that highlight courage, honesty, integrity, loyalty and justice.

Because of the different content on each CD, they are best suited for ages 10 and up. There is a Scope and Sequence on the website that lists what age groups (Elementary, Middle or High School) are likely to understand each of the CDs.

If you are unsure which title you’d like, Jim Hodges has a YouTube Channel full of videos of him explaining EVERY title currently available.

Take a look at Jim Hodge’s “How Henty Helps with History, Geography, Language, and Character” talk

Part 1

Part 2

Because both my 12 and 15 year olds listened with me, I chose to keep the Study Guide digital and use it orally. If only one of them had done it with me, I probably would have printed it out. For each chapter it gives (A LOT of) vocabulary to be defined, questions to be answered and activities to do.
Some of the questions are straight forward (What is Camalodunum?), while others involve more critical thinking (This sentence uses “issued”, which is not used much today. What does it mean in this particular sentence? “As he spoke a number of chariots issued from the path through the forest into the circular clearing…”).

The activities range from researching countries, designing ancient tattoos and cooking oaten cakes to watching videos, playing interactive online games and extended reading. The Study Guide makes it so easy to turn this CD into a two or three month long unit study.

Be sure to sign up for email notifications (under the @ sign on the left sidebar of the website) to receive special promotions and hear about new titles.

My bottom line
Amazingly well done and beyond informative, these CDs are definitely a collection I’d like to own. Seriously, go grab one and don’t forget the Study Guide to maximize the experience!

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