The folks over at Heirloom Audio are at it again with another exciting adventure! We love their audio dramas, and their newest one is called For the Temple. We received a digital download (mp3) of the G.A. Henty adaptation, which contained 27 tracks. We also received a digital copy of the corresponding study guide to go along with every single track of the audio book.
Our whole family listened to it together on our commute to and from co-op after I downloaded it to my phone and played it on our audio system through Bluetooth. It was about 2 hours long and held everyone’s attention.
“For the Temple” from Heirloom Audio
I have to say that I really liked this story! From the characters, which were very well fleshed out so we really got to know them, to the sound effects, which made it feel like we were really there, to the story itself, which was exciting and really brought this piece of history alive! This was an awesome way to learn about the fall of Jerusalem in a way that kids and adults alike could understand and get kind of excited about.
My kids really loved the main character, John. He started out a young man with a strong sense of loyalty and honor with a whole lot of bravery! He worked hard and fought hard and became legendary. In fact, people that knew him before everything that happened in the story with Vespasian, Josephus, and Titus did not believe that “their” John could be the same John that they had heard so many amazing tales about, sneaking up on the Romans and surprising them with his band of rebel fighters.
In the story, John vows to do everything in his power to SAVE the Jewish temple. Throughout, he fights and wins battles that no one thought he would ever be able to win, conquering many who were more experienced than he was. At a certain point in the story, he makes a deal with Titus after he spared the Commander’s life. The amazing part is that both men held fast to their word, even when it didn’t make sense to others. My kids thought it was amazing that they were both able to do their best to be honorable, even with so many people fighting against each other. They also couldn’t believe that John and Jonas were able to make their way out of Jerusalem only to be captured and enslaved! No one was expecting that after such an incredible life with such good fortune.
In the end, he was able to use his favor with Titus to help him get out of that situation and was finally able to head back home and marry the woman that he loved and to start a family with her.
As with all of the Heirloom Audio stories, this is all told from a Christian perspective and does reference Jesus, especially at the end. After all of the chaos in his life, John actually decides he wants to learn more about Yeshua and proudly proclaims himself a Christian.
This study guide is the usual wonderful quality that I’ve come to expect from Heirloom Audio! It is full color and over 50 pages long. It includes 1-2 pages per track, related images and snippets of extra information relating to the story, beautiful artwork, and additional historical facts.
Each track’s section is titled like in the MP3, and includes these sections:
Listening Well – These are comprehension questions relating to the part of the story they just listened to.
Defining Words – There are so many words that can be furthered studied or even tested as spelling words that are used in the story. The definitions are not given in the study guide, so that would be something the students could look up and define on their own.
Thinking Further – These questions are meant to help the student take what they have learned and really flesh it out. They are encouraged to delve deeper into the events and themes of the story. This encourages higher order of thinking for them and makes the story feel more real by “getting into the heads” of the people who were there during the events.
Additionally, in the guide there are some Bible study lessons on No Other Savior, Proper Worship, and Christ Our Temple. These would be great for middle or high school students to work through on their own for a great independent study or group discussion.
I just used this by reading from my phone and talking to my kids about it. It came as a PDF file that could be printed or viewed on any computer or device.
For older students using this toward a history, English, or Bible credit, you could assign the questions and vocabulary to them to complete on a separate sheet of paper. Instead of printing it out, it would work well to have them do it this way since there is not space on the actual pages of the document to put their answers.
We really enjoyed the story! Once again, another work by G.A. Henty was completely brought to life through the incredible cast and crew and the folks at Heirloom Audio.