We received this for review purposes!
Product Links: In the Heart of the Rockies (1860s)
Vendor Information Link: Jim Hodges Productions
Age Appeal: best for ages 10 and up
Format: MP3 on CD or as a download and is almost 11 hours
Price: $25/physical copy and $18/download
Are you looking for a new way to include living history in your children’s life?
G. A. Henty’s In the Heart of the Rockies read by Jim Hodges along with the study guide covers literature, geography, history, and more.
It is the 1860’s in England and sixteen-year-old Tom Wade has decided to leave for the American West to find his uncle. Tom finds his uncle and they fight Indians, see the Grand Canyon, and survive winter storms all while trying to find gold.
Make sure you listen to this sample from In the Heart of the Rockies.
I have always been interested in reading G. A. Henty’s books and I was excited to learn about Jim Hodges Production and his audio books. Sometimes audio books are the best way to be introduced to new authors because the listener hears the story instead of concentrating on the text size or unknown words.
When the CD came in the mail B and C were eager to listen to the story. We listened to a couple of chapters, then we would go over the study guide orally. The questions and activities were excellent. The vocabulary was nice to have, because many of the words are not used today. The study guide costs $12.
C was never as interested in this story as Bridger. I think that was because of her age. Bridger was really interested in the story until they killed the horses for food and two men died. He did finish listening to the story and we worked on the study guide together.
While Henty’s book was excellent, I think I will wait a few more years before introducing him again.
- This is the second G. A. Henty book that I have heard. I do not think that his books are for everyone. There is a lot of detail and vocabulary which makes these books good, but many people may not have the interest level to listen to them. I think that boys would enjoy these books more than girls. I would definitely wait until the children are over the age 10, perhaps older if the children are sensitive to sad events.
- I really enjoyed Jim Hodges’s reading of the story. He gave all the characters different voices and I could easily understand every word he said.
- I thought the study guide was excellent. I liked how it included vocabulary, questions, and activities. The study guide adds to the story to make it complete so many different subjects like geography, history, and literature.
- I do have to say that we did have problems finding ways to make the CD play, since it was in the MP3 format. I was able to get it to play on my computer and Kindle, but not on our newer CD player or Blue Ray/DVD players. When we listened to it, I just hooked the Kindle up to an external set of speakers. It worked very well.
B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fifth grade):
I do not know how much I really liked In the Heart of the Rockies. It was fine until they killed the horses. It was really bad when when Ben and Sam died (characters in the story).
I thought that the narrating was excellent. I thought the elocution skills were excellent. I really liked Harry’s voice. I enjoyed that the narrator’s voice was so different from the characters. I savored how the speed of his voice was not too fast and not too slow.
Overall I do not think this audio recording would be good for people younger than me. I think this would be good for kids ages ten and up. I think this would be good for grownups too.
C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):
This story was not for me. I do not think that people younger than me would like it.
I found the G.A. Henty story of In the Heart of the Rockies: A Story of Adventure in Colorado to be a bit dry. At times it seemed as if the dialogue was forced and stale. Now, I do like stories about the American west in the 1800's and I also like stories of people traveling in search of adventure and fortune and Tom Wade certainly does that. He travels from England to Colorado in search of his Uncle who is mining the Colorado Rockies for gold. Tom wants to be able to provide for his siblings back home since their parents had recently died and he and his sister decide this would be the best thing for him to do.
The main characters have morals and values and that helps the storyline. I guess the best way I can describe this is like eating a piece of beef jerky, it has flavor and nutrition but you really have to bite into it and chew hard to get there. It took me almost halfway through the story before I started liking it to the point of enjoyment. I listened to the audio version of the story, so if you have a trip coming up this would be a good time for it. If you're reading list has books that are higher on list then I recommend reading those first and come back to In the Heart of the Rockies when you have a little more free time.
Mama highly recommends this audio book for older children and adults!
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