Sometimes you just want to sit back and be entertained, and forget that you are learning. That’s why I was excited to review With Lee in Virginia from Heirloom Audio Productions. The audio drama features an all star cast that includes the likes of Kirk Cameron, Sean Astin, Brian Blessed, Chris Anthony, and more. Set during the Civil War, the story focuses on teenager Vincent Wingfield, a Southerner who joins the cavalry of Northern Virginia and finds himself fighting alongside well-known generals like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
I have reviewed other audio dramas from Heirloom, and I have always been impressed at their first-rate productions. With Lee in Virginia is no exception! We listened to the CD during our family trip to North Carolina, and my whole family was soon caught up in the drama. First of all, this is one review my husband always looks forward to. My family loves history, and Heirloom makes it so exciting. The actors make the characters absolutely come alive, and the story, script, and sound effects get you so caught up in the action, you feel like you are actually there in the story!
We felt like we were fighting along with Vincent during the battles, and we felt for him when he lost his friends. We sympathized with him when he got caught and sent to a prisoner camp in the North, and cheered when his faithful servant came to rescue him. A faith-filled and righteous young man, Vincent got in trouble for coming to the aid of a slave who was being mistreated by a neighboring plantation owner, but Vincent even went so far as to help the slave escape from his master, even though he was risking his own life, reputation, and home to do so. Throughout the story, you see Vincent struggle with the idea of slavery, and what he reads in the Bible, and through everything he faces, Vincent works hard to stay true to what he believes.
I don’t want to give away the whole plot, but I will tell you that this is one exciting adventure that will make a great addition to any Civil War unit study and is fantastic for the whole family. In addition to the CDs (which ran around two hours of listening time) you get downloads of a study guide, soundtrack, poster, MP3 version of the audiobook, a printable copy of a quote from Robert E. Lee, and a beautiful color version of the GA Henty novel in eBook form.
The study guide includes background information on GA Henty as well as info on Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. There is also a map that shows the division of the states during the war, the location of major battles, and other places of importance in the story. The audio drama itself is divided into sections, or chapters, and the study guide follows these chapters. Each section has questions that ask listeners to recall events from the story, and then questions that challenge them to go deeper and think about things like character’s motives and the consequences of their actions. Sometimes students are instructed to look up verses in the Bible and apply them to a situation in the story as well. There are also vocabulary words related to the story. The study guide ends with a Bible study that we did as a family.
I found the study guide to be very helpful for the story. If you have younger children, you could do all of this orally. For older students, you could certainly assign some of the questions as written work.
The cost of the 2CD set for With Lee in Virginia is $29.97, or you can get the MP3 download version for just $20.00. I continue to be impressed by Heirloom Audio Productions, and I look forward to what they release in the future. To learn more about this adventure, connect with them on social media here: