Monday, June 23, 2014

In the Reign of Terror!! {Review}

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As we travel along in our Mothership (or even in our car) we like to listen to audio books. They help the Captain stay awake (usually does the opposite to me!). We have listened to a variety of books, from Narnia to Condoleezza Rice's memoirs.

When we were at the FPEA Convention in Florida,  Mr T handed me a pamphlet on audiobooks by Jim Hodges, and told me to go check them out. So I did.

Jim Hodges was there himself, and had a whole booth of audiobooks. Mr T helped me pick out one for our travels north, and I promised to write up a review, if we liked it.

Mr T picked out In the Reign Of Terror by G. A. Henty - An English Lad in the French Revolution. We have a bunch of Henty books in our camp library (thanks to Grandma and Grandpa!), but none of us had read this particular book.

Storyline as copied from the website:

The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, ushered in the French Revolution. Within four years, the king was executed and a revolutionary tribunal was established to judge “enemies of the people.” Led by Robespierre, the Jacobins sought to establish a “Republic of Virtue” and to achieve it, the property of nobles was seized and “enemies” tried and sent to the guillotine. Known as the Reign of Terror, everyone associated with the monarchy, expressed royalist views, or opposed the committee, faced potential execution. Harry Sandwith, a companion of a French family, wins their confidence and becomes the protector of the three daughters. After the girls are condemned to death in the coffin-ships, Harry saves the girls and the gets them safely to England.

I knew the Captain and the boys would enjoy it. A story of a boy in the French Revolution would no doubt hold their interest, but I was surprised how much Little Miss (8) and I enjoyed it, too! To the point where we had to go back and re-listen parts Little Miss had missed when she fell asleep. This was the first audiobook I was able to stay awake for.

Right before we started our Henty audiobook, we had finished listening to one of the Narnia books we had been in the middle of. Switching from a British accent to an American one took a moment, but only a short one, as Jim Hodges' speaking voice is so amazing. He does the different voices very well, from a young lad to an elderly woman, including French accents!

Very impressive!

And very educational!! We all picked up facts about the French Revolution we had either forgotten or never learned.

We were all sad when our book ended (this one was 8 hrs and 35 minutes), and we decided we wanted to get a bunch more for our next road trip. (And for our next school year!)

The audio books by Jim Hodges are MP3 CDs. The Captain figured out how we could listen to one in our vintage motorhome, and so we all started listening this story. (Mr. T copied the files from the CD to a computer, and somehow transferred them to an iPad, and plugged the iPad into our RV sound system. MP3 CD players are very inexpensive, too.)

Mr. Hodges has many of the Henty books on audio, as well as other books. You can check the large selection here. You can also see his recommendations for younger listeners. The Henty books are appropriate for some eight year olds, but typically for ages ten and up. You can also find study guides and vocabulary lists at his website.

Mr. Hodges, thank you so much for our fantastic time travel to the French Revolution!

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