With Lee in Virginia: An Audio Drama Review.
A new week, a new review, a new something that we enjoyed–
Previously we reviewed In Freedom’s Cause, the story of William Wallace, also done by Heirloom Audio Productions. I loved it. I was excited to receive With Lee in Virginia too.
This is a two disc set containing more than two hours of entertainment. The story is based on the G.A. Henty novel also titled “With Lee in Virginia”. (You can check out the original book for free here!) As reviewers we also received the downloadable study guide, which is meant to be a complete curriculum to go along with the story.
The story is told in audio drama form, which is a little different than just a regular audio book. The audio drama sounds like a movie. There are sound effects, a musical soundtrack, and multiple actors. With Lee in Virginia includes famous actors like Kirk Cameron. Sean Astin from Lord of the Rings is also part of the cast.
Vincent Wingfield is a fifteen year old boy who sees the horrors of unfair treatment the slaves are forced to endure on a daily basis. However he is loyal to his state, Virginia, and when the Civil War begins he rushes to enlist in the Confederate army with his mother’s blessing. Vincent fights alongside famous men including Robert E. Lee.
The story focuses on Christian character, morals, and slavery. It’s a captivating tale. We started out listening to the first CD on a four hour road trip. Unfortunately (for me!) I can’t seem to concentrate on both driving and the story at the same time. I suppose multitasking isn’t my thing. While absorbed in the story I ended up not realizing I took the interstate north instead of south…
My five year old and nine year old daughters sat quietly and listened to the story too. Some of the concepts were over their heads. We haven’t studied the Civil War just yet, though Rosie has read the Addy books in the American Girl series and is starting to understand slavery. While listening to With Lee in Virginia she struggled with the concept of Vincent fighting for the south. To her slavery is bad, therefore the people who keep slaves must also be bad people. Why are we talking about good character and good morals yet fighting for the south? Bad guys with morals? Huh, mom?
These are fairly difficult concepts to explain to a child, but I think they give the opportunity for some thought provoking discussions about a difficult time in our nation’s history. Rosie didn’t like the part where a slave woman and her child were being whipped and she wanted to turn it off at that point, but we kept listening to see what happened next.
I don’t have all the answers to these complex social and moral issues, however I think it’s good for our kids to be aware of our history no matter how awful it was. Especially now, at a time when we see arguments over the display of the Confederate flag and so many issues with police and African Americans.
I want my children to learn from various viewpoints so that they can have both compassion and intelligence. It’s important to consider the point of view of both sides: A slave owner growing up in the southern plantation culture, as well as the the point of view that a slave would have being born into slavery with no choice. Vincent Wingfield is a slave owner with morals, which is an interesting dichotomy to consider.
I love how these audio dramas fit so well into my preferred method of homeschooling: Charlotte Mason! CM emphasizes using living books rather than text books. What’s more living than a great audio drama?? Heirloom Audio Productions does a great job of bringing this story to life.
If you want to see what other reviewers thought of With Lee in Virginia then hop on over to the Review Crew blog by clicking the banner below and then find the linky at the bottom!
With Lee In Virginia (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/WithLeeInVirginia
The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/TheExtraordinaryAdventuresOfGAHenty
Heirloom Audio Productions (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/heirloomaudio
Heirloom Audio Productions (Google+): https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/114534826166314080647/114534826166314080647
Heirloom Audio Productions (Twitter): https://twitter.com/HeirloomStories
The Obligatory Disclaimer ;)