Thursday, October 30, 2014

Experience History with Audio Books by Jim Hodges Productions (TOS Review)

Jim Hodges Productions Review

We are big fans of audio books in the our house. We recently had the opportunity to review A Knight of the White Cross MP3 audio book by Jim Hodges Productions.

Jim Hodges Productions Review
Gervaise Tresham, a poor, orphaned noble, joins the Knights of St. John in Rhodes. He quickly rises to knighthood and does daring exploits. He gets captured by the Turks and after being in captivity for two years he escapes in time to help in the defense of Rhodes. After defeating the Turks he heads to France to recuperate from his wounds. During his adventures he meets Claudia, but he has sworn to never marry. Because of his daring deeds he was released from the order and allowed to marry. Throughout Gervaise's exciting adventures he remains a man of strong character.

A Knight of the White Cross is narrated by Jim Hodges and is a story for all ages. It comes in MP3 format, which means it has to be played on MP3 compatible CD player, DVD player, or computer. One thing I like about the MP3 format is that it is easy to transfer to a personal MP3 player if you prefer to listen to stories on them.

My kids (18, 14, & 12) listened to A Knight of the White Cross together as our "read-aloud". Very nice, since I didn't have to read-aloud.  Being that it is set during the War of the Roses it took awhile to figure out who was who and what was what. Eventually, the kids began to get the characters straight and start to get into the story. By the end my kids were very involved in the story and were really excited when it ended better than what they were predicting would happen. Caleb (18) is the only one who has read any G.A. Henty books and I was glad to see that Destini (14) and Chantry (12) interested in his story as well.

While listening to the story we also used The Study Guide for G.A. Henty's The Knight of the White Cross. The study guide comes in PDF format and is 66 pages long. It includes vocabulary words,questions for each chapter, and quizzes. Also included are several activities that you can do for each chapter and an answer key.

I am not a big fan of study guides so I used this in a very relaxed manner and we focused on the questions. One thing about the questions is that they weren't all comprehension questions, but also included a lot of questions that seemed to required additional research. This was frustrating for my kids. I would have preferred these to be included under the additional activities along with a black line map or a link for one. The study guide would be a great asset to an intense study of the time period of history or just to use for history.

If my kids had any complaints was the narrator's voice. (As I stated earlier, we listen to A LOT of audio books and are very sensitive to that.) Thankfully, they did get so interested in the story that they were able enjoy the story for itself. Overall, The Knight of the White Cross was a big hit and it has definitely piqued their interest in reading other G.A. Henty books.

The Knight of the White Cross Audio Book is available from Jim Hodges Productions for $25.00 for the MP3 physical CD or $18.00 for the digital download. The study guide is available for $12.00.

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