Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sugar Creek Gang (Schoolhouse Review)

Emily has always loved listening to books on tape and cd, so when the opportunity came up to review the Sugar Creek Gang cd set, we jumped at the chance. These recordings are published by Beloved Books, producers of large variety of family-friendly recorded books.

The first of the Sugar Creek Gang set of books were published in 1939, by Paul Hutchens. These wholesome, old-fashioned stories feature the antics of a group of boys who have all sorts of exciting, although sometimes unrealistic, adventures involving such things as capturing bank robbers and encounters with dangerous bears.   Throughout the stories are strong Christian themes of loyalty, sacrifice, and living out one’s faith in daily life. The gospel message is repeated frequently as are the struggles of the boys to live godly lives.

The series was dramatized for radio and is available in 6 separate volumes. We listened to Volume 1, which includes the first six audio books in the series and around 12 hours of listening time. The speaker, Paul Ramseyer, has a fun, folksy way of reading the stories. I thought he spoke a little rapidly, but we got used to his style quickly. The stories do have a dated feel (since they were written 70 years ago), but that added to the charm. I felt that they were more “preachy” than most modern Christian books, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing either. There were a few differences in the cultural values of 1940’s that wouldn’t be found in modern literature, such as a character throwing a smashed metal cup into the bushes (littering) and continually poking fun at an overweight character (in a kind, matter-of-fact way). We commented on those things as we listened.

The stories also included bits of classic poetry and information about science, nature, and hygiene that we enjoyed.

Emily says:

Sugar Creek Gang is my favorite series of audio tapes ever!! I love that it holds adventure and excitement in every chapter!! If I had a choice, I would listen to the tapes all day long! I love them sooo much because they are everything exciting! They have adventure in them and crime and the man who tells the story tells it like it's happening right now! He tells it like I'm in the story and like I'm doing the things in the story right now! When I hear the the tapes, I want to be in the adventures they are in, because they sound like they are having so much fun! I come from a small neighborhood and it doesn’t have very many kids living in it, but if it did I would start my own gang and I would want it to be just like the one in the story tapes! I love Sugar Creek Gang!

Each of the 6 Volumes (of 6 audio books) sells for $54.95.  The first book, Swamp Robber, may be purchased for only $4.95 with free shipping. Or…listen to the Swamp Robber online for free!

Use the coupon code, “DEBBIE-20” for a 20% discount off your entire purchase!

Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Crew, I received Volume 1 of this series in exchange for my honest review.

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