Audio books are some of my favorite things on earth. I have used them myself for years. Cleaning house seems to go quickly when I have something intriguing to listen to. Music works for some people. I wind up bee-bopping instead of cleaning. True story.
We do a lot of listening in the car, as well. Josiah and I spend a lot of time in the car going to swim team practice, PE classes and our weekly reading club. I love that we can get to where we are going while listening to some enriching.
I am always thrilled to add to my collection of Audio Books. This time around I had the opportunity to review When London Burned by G.A. Henty (as well as a study guide) from Jim Hodges Productions.
When London Burned is available from Jim Hodges Productions for $24.99 for the MP3 CD, or as a digital download for $18.00. The study guide is also available as a PDF for $12.00.
If you are a history buff I am fairly certain you will enjoy G.A. Henty (1832 – 1902). I happen to adore his books. He was a military correspondent and author from Great Britain. He wrote 122 books...all historical fiction. His books are generally recommended for ages 10 and up.
I have read many fictional accounts set around the events in When London Burned. Most of them were romantic in nature and not something Josiah would enjoy. G.A. Henty tends to major in swashbuckling adventure. His heroes are always true. This story is set in the 1600's. Many things were happening. Not only the Great Fire of London, but the Great Plague as well.
Our hero of the story is Cyril Shenstone. His father, Sir Aubrey Shenstone fought with King Charles II to regain the throne from Oliver Cromwell. Sir Aubrey dies when Cyril is only 16. He leaves Cyril with no money or estate.
All the Henty books I have read feature a young man who is of noble character. I can't tel you how refreshing it is to expose Josiah to someone whose values prompt him to consider someone other than himself. I don't have to worry about sassy talk and 'to big for your britches' attitudes.
Cyril, the hero of this story, is no exception. He is compassionate, resourceful and forgiving. He faces obstacles that few boys of this day and age could imagine. A few things really stuck out for me. When Sir Arthur dies, Cyril is truly saddened. This might not seem like such a big deal (he was his father, after all), but Sir Arthur had been an absent father. He had pursued his own interests and left Cyril to fend for himself. He certainly didn't leave any way for Cyril to support himself. Instead of being bitter or unforgiving, Cyril looked past his father's faults and understood that his father did care for him. He took responsibility of his young life.
When the Great Plague hit London it was a terrifying time. Those of noble birth fled to the countryside. Even many in the church shut themselves off and neglected their responsibility to care for sick and dying...for the widows and the orphans.
Cyril went above and beyond. He helped those in need...putting himself in harms way. I have to share with you this quote from the book itself. This was from a minister preaching a sermon during this time. He was calling people to be compassionate.
I'm considering reading this every morning to Josiah. Too much? The story is filled with danger, scoundrels, heroes and adventure. All make for a great story for boys.
The Audio book is well done. It is a little over 13 hours long. That's a lot of listening. I also ran into a little issue. I zoned the little bit of information that it came in a MP3 CD form. I stuck it in the CD player in my car on the way somewhere. I don't have to tell you that I went home with a story to my husband that my CD player didn't work anymore (along with my heating, air conditioning and automatic locks). Should I be telling you this?
Anyhoo. You will be happy to know that I was able to play it on our blueray player and my laptop. Just be prepared when you order your copy. I knew about the format, but had just forgotten.