Sometimes I have the opportunity to review a product that surprises me. I might do a little research on the product prior to receiving it and think, "Oh, I think we will like this." And then we get it. We use it, and I not only like it...I love it. We're excited to use it each day and I'm excited to share it with my friends. This is one of those products.
A few weeks ago our family opened our mailbox and pulled out a package from Beloved Books. My oldest son, G11, is always relieved to open a review package that isn't math, but he was especially interested to find the Sugar Creek Gang Volume 1 CDs. G11 loves to read and loves a good story. "That's cool." He nonchalantly mumbled at the sight of the audio dramas. But this Mama could see past his pre-teen too-cool-for-school facade...he was definitely intrigued.
After lunch, we decided to give the CDs a whirl. The little ones were napping and I had some things to get done around the house. The big kids settled down in the living room and we turned on the Sugar Creek Gang. About thirty minutes later I was winding down my activities of flurrying from one room to the next and to be honest...not paying attention to the radio at all. Instead, I had been mentally running through my to-do lists, checking things off, planning for next week, next year, curing all mysterious illnesses...you know, thinking about all those things we moms think about when children aren't constantly interrupting our thoughts...and I began to realize that this probably wasn't the most effective time to listen to an audio book. After all, I was busy working and the kids were all busy with activities as well. The girls were working on a craft project. The boys were chatting and flipping through books. I figured we would give the Sugar Creek Gang another try while we were in the car. So I walked into the living room and announced it was time to turn the radio off.
"Why?!" Four pair of incredulous eyes stared back at me. They actually looked as if I had betrayed them.
I stopped to listen for a second and it did seem that they were listening to a particularly dramatic part of the story.
"Um, well..." I said. "I didn't think anyone was listening to it."
"Yes, I am!" they practically said in unison.
"Well, okay... I guess we can finish this part of the story."
A few days later, I sat in the car listening to the Sugar Creek Gang with the kids and realized why they didn't want me to turn the CDs off.
The Sugar Creek Gang book series was written by Paul Hutchens. He began the books in 1939 aiming to create a "series of wholesome Christian adventure books". A couple of decades later this series was recorded into an audio drama by Paul Ramseyer and can now be purchased through Beloved Books. There are six volumes of CDs, each coming with several CDs and stories and each priced at $54.95 each. The entire set can be purchased for $279.70 and includes over 100 hours on 72 CDs.
From the Beloved Books website...
These Sugar Creek Gang "Audio Adventures" are dramatically read straight from the original books. Christian families LOVE this series because the gospel message is presented in such a simple, easy-to-understand style. The whole series is, in fact, a discipleship journey... even parents who listen along witness the Holy Spirit working changes in their own hearts!
Families also enjoy the delightfully interspersed segments of nature study, poetry, hymns, and even science lessons... all skillfully woven into the fabric of the stories.
The Swamp Robber
The Killer Bear
The Winter Rescue
The Lost Campers
The Secret Hideout
I want to be clear that these stories are not about a bunch of rowdy boys getting into trouble. The boys in these stories are noble characters that your children can look up to. They honor their parents, strive to do what is right and good, and are learning what it means to live a Christian life. Scripture is often quoted throughout the stories and biblical principles are at the foundation of each of these adventures.
When I asked G11 what he thought about the Sugar Creek Gang series he smiled and replied, "Oh, I like them. I think they're funny." Our kids ask to listen to these often, and I don't have a problem with it...I like them too!
A bit of exciting news...right now you can use the code HSING3-20 to receive 20% off of a Beloved Books order and you can also listen to The Swamp Robber- the full first episode FREE at this special link!!
Read more reviews of the Sugar Creek Gang at the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.