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Recent Audiobooks We’ve Enjoyed

Audiobooks for Families to enjoy

Our library has an amazing audiobook section (huge score for us). Every now and then we find a new author or book that we just love. Equally, there are a few that we try so hard with, but they just don’t click.

Trips in the car are made much more enjoyable when an audiobook is running. Typically that means peace and quiet as everyone listens along, compared to the arguing over what music to listen to or who gets to sit where (Side note: My kids are just like yours. Unless your kids don’t argue. Then they aren’t just like yours, and we need to chat sibling dynamics).

But I digress….

Audiobooks We Recommend (or maybe don’t)

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve been listening too, age recommendations, and a little blurb about the story/plot.

A-Year-Down-Yonder-by Richard Peck

Last month we started listening to A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (read by Lois Smith), and we fell in love with Grandma Dowdel and her crazy antics. We laughed and practically cried at some of the things she puts her neighbors through. The story follows a 15 year old girl who moves to live with her grandmother  – and the happenings in their small town. All of our kids enjoyed this one so much that on our next trip to the library we bulked up with a few more audiobooks by Peck. Recommended ages 9 to 13.

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Next up for the CD player was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (read by Hope Davis). Years ago (back in my 5th grade year, and we won’t talk about how long ago that was), our teacher read the book aloud to us as a class. Either I have fond memories of another book (or just the read aloud time), because we were only able to get through about two of the six disks before we called it quits. Quite honestly, even though we listened to that much…I’m still lost on the story.  Maybe it was the weird way some of the characters were read, but we just had a hard time getting hooked. (Makes me sad, but on we go.) Recommended ages 10 to 14.

 

Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck

Our 7 year old picked out the next audiobook, Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck (read by Jayne Entwistle). This fun story about a family of mice traveling to  England with their human family. Super cute book that made us giggle at their trouble with the ship’s cat and love Peck even more. Recommended ages 9 to 14, but I think 7 and up based on content.

 

A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

Have I mentioned how much we loved Grandma Dowdel? Next up for listening was A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck (read by Ron McLarty). In this adventure set in 1958, there’s a new pastor in town and his family moves in next door to Grandma Dowdel. While it seems like the last place on earth they want to be, the small town quickly becomes home. Recommended ages 9 to 14 – there are a few things that would definitely stick it close to this age range, especially the outhouse scene (funny, but might need some explaining – nothing bad!).

Other Audiobooks We’ve Enjoyed

That’s what we’ve been listening to lately, but below are a few other audiobooks that we’ve loved and recommend. Click on the cover to find out more!

What audiobooks are YOU listening to?

 

Under Drake’s Flag – Audiobooks for Kids

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Quality audiobooks are something that our family really enjoys. While we love borrowing some from the library, there are ultimately several that find a permanent spot in our home to listen to time after time. Our most recent audio adventure find and keep is Under Drake’s Flag.

If your family loves history and loves audio drama, you definitely do not want to miss Under Drake’s Flag from Heirloom Audio. Rather than a single narrator telling the tale and reading a script, Under Drake’s Flag is a FULL audio theatre adventure. Numerous actors compose the cast of the story, along with a musical score that is wonderful.

Jump Into the Adventure!

Here’s a little teaser of Under Drake’s Flag, based in part on the adventures of Sir Francis Drake.

Ned Hawkshaw is about to take the greatest adventure a boy could ever imagine…with one of the most celebrated heroes in history—Sir Francis Drake!  Ned fights off a shark attack, survives a shipwreck, engages in fierce battles on sea and land, and comes face to face with the Spanish Inquisition.  Experience the swashbuckling tale that pits faith against fear, and helps Ned grow from a boy into a man.  Live the Adventure® and board The Golden Hinde for an epic quest of courage on the high seas!

This movie-quality audio theater—recorded in London—features a cast of stellar actors, including acclaimed British actor Brian Blessed, state-of-the art sound design from award-winner Mark Drury (The Chronicles of Narnia audio series), and a stunning music score composed by John Campbell (Lamplighter Theatre®, Focus on the Family Radio Theatre®, Adventures in Odyssey®). 

What Our Family Loved about Under Drake’s Flag

The first question our kids had when they saw the Under Drake’s Flag CD: “Does this have lots of voices, sound effects, and music, or is it someone reading the story? We truly enjoy listening to both, but there is something about the sound effects and actors that pull you into the adventure even further!

All of our kids (and mom too) were definitely captivated by the story. Set in 1572, the story follows the adventures of Ned and a friend as they join Sir Francis Drake on his ship, Ned is a young boy on the verge of becoming a man and throughout the story, we listened as he grew in character and in years. His faith was tested and tried in different situations, which also led to some great discussions.

There was one specific scene that was rather intense, as Ned and his friend were on trial for their faith during the Spanish Inquisition. Essentially they had the choice of recanting their faith or facing torture. Honestly, there are some GREAT talking points in this area alone, solely based on what it would mean to recant your faith or stand firm in your beliefs – what would you do?

We are huge fans of radio theatre and Under Drake’s Flag did not disappoint. Our van became silent other than the sounds of the audio adventure for several days as we all listened and enjoyed the story of Ned Hawkshaw.

Every now and then we had to pause the story while a kiddo asked a question about a word that was used or commented that they remembered learning about something they heard. One child even confiscated the CD from the radio when she left so we wouldn’t be able to listen to it without her (yeah, our kids are a little crazy like that).

Companion Study Guide

Under Drakes Flag study guide cover

For those who want to turn the audio adventure into more of a learning time, the CD comes with a study guide to help your child further understand the story line and principles taught. An abridged version of the study guide is included with the CD and a full version available in pdf format to download online.

Study Guide for Under Drakes Flag

The study guide contains a biography of Sir Francis Drake and G.A. Henty as well as questions based on the sections in the story. Each set of questions contains three parts:

  • Listening Well: questions based on the story so far and what is remembered
  • Thinking Further: questions to think about or research more
  • Defining Words: vocabulary words to look up and learn

There are also three Bible study sections that look more closely at the character of the boys in the story and how they handle the different situations they are placed in.

Find Out More and Purchase

Under Drake’s Flag is a definite ‘recommend’ from our family to yours, and we are so excited to see there is another new audio drama, In Freedom’s Cause, due to release in November based on William Wallace! But until then, be sure to check out more of Under Drake’s Flag.

Ages: 6 and up

Price: $20 download or $29.95 audio CD – purchase here.

 

Listen to the short audio clip below to get a little sample of the story too!

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Thanks so much to Heirloom Audio for this wonderful listening adventure. Stop by the Heirloom Audio Facebook page to keep up with their latest news!

 

 

 

We received this CD at no cost from Heirloom Audio to review. All opinions expressed in this review are our honest thoughts and feelings.