Exciting Events: Volume 3

Reviewed by Jonathan Lewis

Your Story Hour produces dramatized audio stories available on CD or as MP3 downloads. I recently had the opportunity to review their Exciting Events: Volume 3 album, which includes two stories: Adventures on the Oregon Trail and Fannie Lou Hamer.

Adventures on the Oregon Trail is the longer of the two stories. In this drama, you’ll join the Allen family as they leave their home in Michigan, first traveling to Independence, Missouri, where they join a wagon train heading toward Oregon and—they hope—a better life. The story is fictional, but it is based on the types of real events individuals and families encountered on the trail and recorded for posterity. Portions of the story are narrated by Carole Pezet and Chet Damron (better known as Aunt Carole and Uncle Dan), but most of it is dramatized. Your kids will not only enjoy the story, they’ll be learning as they listen.

Overall, I was impressed with the quality of the dramatization. There were occasional moments when the attempt to insert educational material resulted in somewhat awkward dialog, but most kids won’t notice that as much as Mom and Dad might. As your kids listen, they’ll get a glimpse of what the pioneers endured on the more than two-thousand-mile journey across the country. (Just imagine that! Two thousand miles in a wagon without a hotel or fast-food drive-through in sight. Next time you’re on a long car trip, remind your kids of how good they have it!)

The second story is a brief account of the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, who grew up picking cotton as the daughter of a sharecropper and went on to become a civil rights activist. As with Adventures on the Oregon Trail, the story is told partially through narration, partially through dramatization. This story addresses one of the admittedly difficult periods of American history, but it’s a story of courage and standing up for what’s right regardless of personal sacrifice and hardship.

All total, Exciting Events: Volume 3 consists of six approximately thirty-minute tracks for a total of about three hours of educational listening. If you’re a fan of educational audio resources, you’ll definitely want to check out this album and the other titles available from Your Story Hour! 

This review was originally published in the March/April 2017 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. Information and availability subject to change without notice.