Adventures in Odyssey Club: The Essential John Avery Whitaker

Without John Avery Whitaker, Whit’s End wouldn’t exist! Knowing who Whit is and how he came to Odyssey is a complex story which has unfolded in bits and pieces throughout the history of Adventures in Odyssey. The Adventures in Odyssey Club makes is easy to find all the episodes in order! To truly know Whit, listening to the entire series is a must, but here is a listing of episodes in order from the time Whit was a child to give you the essential John Avery Whitaker. 

Whit’s Past
1. Thank You God (Volume 3) 
At Thanksgiving dinner, Whit tells the story of how his stepmother changed his life.
2. The Journal of John Avery (Adventure Club Season 3)
Discover which people and events shaped Whit’s character as a boy, inspiring him to become an imitator of Christ.
3. Blackbeard’s Treasure (Volume 22)
Two young boys, John Whittaker and Jack Allen, venture into a secret cave and fight off pirates in their quest to find Blackbeard’s buried treasure.

4. No Friend Like an Old Friend (Volume 62)
On a bus ride home, Connie meets Wilson Knox, who recalls a tale from his childhood about a science competition and two boys named Av and Al.
5. Great Expectations (Volume 56)
*This one is a little harder to place because it covers several points in Whit’s life*
As Emily pursues her hopes and dreams, she journeys in the Imagination Station to see Whit as a young boy.
6. Rescue from Manatugo Point (Volume 6)
A mysterious letter reminds Whit of a remarkable adventure he had in the South Pacific during World War II.
7. Operation: Dig Out (Volume 6)
An elderly British gentleman named Reginald Duffield arrives in Odyssey to keep a promise he made to Whit many years ago after a World War II battle.
8. The Triangle Parts 1 & 2 (Volume 36)
Jack Allen and Whit tell Connie the story of how Whit met his wife in college.
9. Prequels of Love (Volume 48)
From chicken costumes to phone scams, we hear the stories of how Bart Rathbone, Whit, and Bernard Walton met, or proposed to, their wives.

10. Charlotte (Adventure Club Season 5)

A friendly game of chess ends abruptly when painful memories put Whit and Wilson’s friendship to the test.

11. Memories of Jerry (Volume 27)
An old postcard triggers Jason Whittaker’s memories about the last weekend he spent with his older brother, Jerry.
12. Recollections (Volume 1)
Whit’s best friend, Tom Riley, tells Connie the story of how Whit’s End was created amid tragic circumstances.

13. Clara (Volume 28)
*This takes place in the middle of the Recollections story*
Jack Allen tells Eugene about a shocking incident from his past. Whit gets angry and says that he never wants to see Jack again.
Whit’s Life in Odyssey
14. A Member of the Family 1 & 2 (Volume 1)
When Whit’s grandson, Monty, arrives for a summer in Odyssey, the family finds they are in for more trouble–and more healing–than they expected.

15. The Blackguard Chronicles episodes 1-12

16. A Day in the Life (Volume 11)

A Hollywood film company comes to Odyssey to make a movie about the town.

17. The Mortal Coil 1 & 2 (Volume 16)

Whit programs the Imagination Station to show what life after death might be like. Against the advice of Tom Riley, he tries the program on himself . . . with dangerous results.
18. The Jesus Cloth (Volume 18)
The appearance of a piece of cloth supposedly from Jesus’ robe creates great hubbub in Odyssey.
19. Gone… (Volume 21)
Bernard and Eugene return from their long road trip to Odyssey, where things always stay the same. Or so they think.
21. …But Not Forgotten  (Volume 21)
Tom Riley, Connie, and Eugene find that running Whit’s End takes more time than they thought. Tom asks an old friend of Whit’s, Jack Allen, to help out.
22. The Search for Whit 1-3  (Volume 27)
Jason and Eugene get a cryptic message from Whit in the Middle East, which leads them on a wild investigation that could change Christian history as we know it.
23. Home Sweet Home  (Volume 28)
Whit finally returns to Odyssey–but Connie can’t seem to meet up with him.
24. The Decision  (Volume 28)
Whit must decide whether or not to accept an offer to return to the mission field, and so Connie sets out to prove that he is needed in Odyssey.
25. It’s a Wrap! (Volume 28)
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz and the Kids’ Radio team take an in-depth look at Whit’s End and the return of John Avery Whittaker.
26. For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls 1-3 (Volume 29)
Someone is getting married in Odyssey . . . but who? Is it John Whittaker and Margaret Faye, Eugene Meltsner and Katrina Shanks, or Jack Allen and Joanne Woodston?
27. Faster than a Speeding Ticket (Volume 30)
Whit gets a speeding ticket, and Dwayne Oswald gets a D on a history test. Both believe they were the victims of mistakes.
28. Blackgaard’s Revenge 1 &2 (Volume 33)
A virus implanted in the Imagination Station with Dr. Blackgaard’s personality surfaces and must be destroyed before it takes hold over Aubrey
29.  Novacom Saga*Entire Album*
30.  No Way Out 1 & 2 (Volume 42)
Whit finds himself trapped in a room with no doors or windows. Meanwhile, “Marvelous” Marvin Washington investigates strange happenings around his house.

31.  Silent Night (Volume 45)

*Flashback Episode*
At home alone on Christmas Eve, Whit remembers holidays past that were difficult–but still made for treasured family memories.
32.  The Poor Rich Guy (Volume 46)
Grady McKay decides that the Bible “makes no sense” after Marvin Washington and his sister, Tamika, conclude that Whit can’t go to heaven because he’s rich.
33.  The Ties That Bind (Volume 58)
*Entire Album*
34.  Between the Lines 1 & 2 (Volume 60)
When Connie seems to have a connection with a handyman, Wooton and Penny get the idea to set them up on a blind date. Meanwhile, Whit and Lilly Graham try to get to the bottom of his health issues and Whit’s daughter Jana announces that she’s moving to Odyssey.
35.  The Feud of Mason County (Volume 61)
Whit takes a much-needed prayer retreat to the mountains and lands in the middle of a decades-old family feud.
36.  There and Back Again 1-3 (Adventure Club Season 4)
The Whittakers’ New Zealand vacation takes a dramatic turn after they bump into a friend from Odyssey.
37.  Met His Match (Adventure Club Season 5)
Convinced that Whit is lonely, Penny and Olivia play Cupid in hopes of introducing him to the next Mrs. Whittaker.

Disclaimer: In exchange for promoting The Adventures in Odyssey Club I receive a membership to The Adventures in Odyssey Club. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Adventures in Odyssey Club: Exclusive Content

Tomorrow is the first of September. That means…
 a new exclusive Adventures in Odyssey Club episode! 

The club episodes are not available for purchase as either CDs or digital downloads. They are a part of the Odyssey cannon, but have the freedom to explore the world of Odyssey without the confines of a collective set. Some of these have become our all-time favorites! Here are a few…

One More Name (3 parts)
To save Jewish children from the Nazis, a Polish social worker agrees to smuggle them out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Walk This Way
Penny convinces Connie that the answer to her financial problems is as simple as being crowned Miss Odyssey.

There and Back Again (3 parts)
The Whittakers’ New Zealand vacation takes a dramatic turn after they bump into a friend from Odyssey.

Take Every Thought Captive
Mean girl Valerie Swanson visits a strange city that’s oddly familiar, yet unlike anything she’s ever experienced.

Un-Tech the Halls
The Parkers decide to unplug their gadgets and make family memories by searching for a Christmas tree.

All for the Guest
It’s a stressful sleepover when Penny’s parents and Wooton’s childhood butler come to visit on the same weekend.

Met His Match

Convinced that Whit is lonely, Penny and Olivia play Cupid in hopes of introducing him to the next Mrs. Whittaker.
These are all available with your monthly subscription to the Adventures in Odyssey Club! Sign up today to hear these and more!

Disclaimer: In exchange for promoting The Adventures in Odyssey Club I receive a membership to The Adventures in Odyssey Club. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Adventures in Odyssey Club: Celebrating a New Year and a New Album!

There is a thrill that abounds in our home when a new album is coming to Adventures in Odyssey! We couldn’t wait for this album, Trial by Fire, knowing there would be answers to much of Buck Oliver’s mysterious past! 

We weren’t disappointed, especially with the 3-part ending to the Mr. Skint and Buck Oliver story arch! If you haven’t heard how this all plays out, you need to go back to their introduction to the town of Odyssey. That would be one of our other favorite albums, The Green Ring Conspiracy

Next you will want to listen to The Ties that Bind. This brings Buck Oliver back to Odyssey and into the lives of Eugene and Katrina Meltzner in an unexpected way! 

Buck is in several more episodes which are a lot of fun, but the most important to this particular story arc is Out of the Picture from Under the Surface

This will catch you up so you have a better background for what happens in The Long End Parts 1-3. This deals a lot with family history and heritage. It also deals with the idea of choosing right from wrong and can lead to some great conversations with your kids. Be aware that there are some subjects which may be a little harder for some kids such as the death of a parent, adoption, and kidnapping. 

We had fun listening to each episode around our kitchen table during the lunch hour. We often do this when new episodes pop into the Adventures in Odyssey Club app, which is the first of ever month for the Adventure Club episodes and several weeks in a row twice a year for the albums. It’s so fun to have early access to these shows! 

You can to by joining the club! It is a wonderful addition to your family entertainment for both kids and adults! 

Disclaimer: In exchange for promoting The Adventures in Odyssey Club I receive a membership to The Adventures in Odyssey Club. I am not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own

Brinkman Adventures Season 4 from Brinkman Adventures: A TOS Crew Review

Brinkman Adventures  Our girls love to listen to audio drama. They almost always listen to one when they go to bed at night and many times in the car, even on short drives. We just pickup where we were the next time we hop into the car. They will even choose to listen to wonderful audios during their free time. We have never heard any of the Brinkman Adventures but they were so excited to have a new series and thoroughly enjoyed listening to Brinkman Adventures Season 4!
 Brinkman Adventures  These modern, and true, missionary stories are brought to life through the Brinkman family. The family approaches life with a biblical worldview. It is always nice when a source of entertainment will reflect our own family’s worldview. My younger two girls especially enjoyed their adventures. Beth, age 10, wanted to listen to them over and over!  

Twelve episodes are included in this season. The girls listened to all of them within just a couple of days! There are a variety of mission fields represented and also a variety of types of mission work. The girls liked the story, “Remember Nhu,” which dealt with child slavery in Cambodia. I very much appreciated that while the story highlighted a wonderful ministry to help girls escape from sexual slavery, the story only referred to the horrors as “slavery.” My girls are not aware of this particular evil in he world and I liked that they were able to experience this story of redemption and hope without having to bear the weight of the atrocities of child sex slavery.

While the girls often listened at  bedtime, we also enjoyed them in the car! One of my favorite episodes was “The War of the Racoons.” While this particular show was not based on an actual situation it was quite humorous and kept us laughing! I also liked the way the story portrayed repentance and restoration. There were also some interesting themes about marriage and relationships. While we are not in that season with our girls yet, it was nice to have a more biblical viewpoint on relationships presented as opposed to what the world presents.  

 The episodes are about twenty-five minutes long. This is a great length for trips around town. We usually are able to listen to one on the way to and from wherever we are running our errands. It was the perfect length for a one-way trip to their science class on Wednesday mornings! The girls really enjoyed these stories. They have asked if we can listen to more. In addition to the Brinkman Adventures there is another series called The Time Chroniclers which looks intriguing!  Don’t forget to check out what my Crewmates have to say! Brinkman Adventures Season 4Crew Disclaimer

Captain Bayley’s Heir from Heirloom Audio Productions: A TOS Crew Review

Heirloom Audio Productions   Quality entertainment we consider “safe” for our girls to enjoy is hard to come by these days. We feel the need to screen just about every form of media they encounter be it visual, audio, or in written form. There are only a handful of companies which we trust to always provide this safe entertainment we seek for our family. Although our first experience with Heirloom Audio Productions was only a few months ago, this wonderful company is absolutely at the top of that list. We anxiously awaited the arrival of Captain Bayley’s Heir and were not at all disappointed!  Captain Bayley's Heir  This wonderful story begins in London with the story of Frank, a school-boy accused of a dishonest act which he did not actually do. Fear leads him to feel trapped in his circumstances with the only opportunity to redeem his good reputation being to feel to America. His life in America is very different from that in London. His desire is to make his fortune, believing that will be the only way to earn back his reputation. Throughout the story Frank is faced with the reality that his life matters and that God’s grace will abound. The ending was surprise to me and I love that his family finds him and they are reunited in the end as well as the fact that Frank’s name was indeed cleared of the accusations!  We listened to this wonderful story on our way to and from a field trip to the zoo. The 90 minute journey there and back went by very quickly with this as our entertainment! All five of us completely enjoyed the story. We listen to a lot of audio drama while driving, but not many that are this long and it captivated our attention thoroughly. Many of the voice talents were recognizable from other audio dramas and movies or television. The acting was superb and I absolutely love the background music! In addition to the audio is the opportunity to participate in the Live the Adventure Club. There are sooooo many amazing resources with this! The study guide is an amazing tool which can be used to make this part of your school-day and be incredibly educational. There are questions to help your children listen well and deeper, more thought provoking questions to help them with inference and predictions while listening. These are great skills which will translate into reading assignments as well. The vocabulary list is really helpful since these are older stories with rich words rarely used these days in modern conversation and writing. Also some of the historical references which may be unfamiliar are covered, like cobblestone.  

  I really like that the guide explored the historical context of Manifest Destiny, the idea that the settlement of western America was predestined because of the country’s political and economic power. I really appreciate an honest discussion of this with our kids and the fact that the drama also delves into an understanding that the tribal nations native to this country were not to blame for all of the bloodiness of the past. Honest discussions about what really happened between Americans and the tribes is needed rather than imbalanced teaching. Having my girls listen to entertainment that strives to be fair and true to history is very important to us.   As I mentioned before I loved the background music. I’m a huge fan of sounds tracks and one of the cool things about the Live the Adventure Club is that you can listen to the soundtrack! There are also three study guide options which are simple to follow, yet very deep and will provide a great spring-board for discussion.  Don’t forget to check out what my Crewmates had to say!  Captain Bayley's Heir {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

In the Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio Productions: A TOS Crew Review!

Heirloom Audio Productions

One of our favorite activities is listening to radio dramas. There is something captivating about listening to a story without visual stimuli which captivates a unique portion of our imagination. It is a beautiful form of drama I adore so much I create a radio drama with the homeschool English class for junior high students I teach. Although I have read rave reviews of the company, In the Reign of Terror is our first opportunity to hear a production from Heirloom Audio Productions. We were thrilled to hear the tale from G.A. Henty and it exceeded my expectations!
In the Reign of Terror

The story is set at the start of the French Revolution. I remember reading about this event when I was in high school and I’ve read a few novels with the same setting, but honestly nothing really stuck out in my mind about it. I suppose I equated it with the American Revolution. Through this incredible story I heard more about the horrors of what occurred during this time and realized the two “revolutions” were completely different. My interest is also peeked and I am excited to study further about the French Revolution. 
As you listen to this fabulous drama you will be transported to a time very different from our own. You will feel the fear as the family tries to escape the horrors brought about by those leading the French Revolution. You will anxiously await the fate of the family and earnestly wish you could help them. You may even cry, as I did, at certain moments where bravery in the face of certain peril shines forth. I can’t tell you anymore because I don’t want to spoil it for you!
We listen to a lot of high-quality radio drama from a variety of companies. I was so incredibly impressed with the excellent acting, fabulous sound effects, and incredible music! This is a professionally made drama with well-known actors helping create it and we even recognized some voices from other things we have heard. We were all thoroughly absorbed throughout the story. While we listened the girls colored and drew most of the time. This is a great way to spend time together in the evenings as a family.
One note of caution is to be aware this is a very intense story. My youngest, Grace, is seven. We had been listening for about an hour when she came over to me and asked if she could go into another room. She struggles with nightmares and we are cautious with what she listens to, reads, and watches. I did not think about this being scary for her, but it was very intense. We had not even gotten into the most intense scenes yet, but she was starting to feel nervous. I was happy to allow her to slip out of the room. I say that just to let you know that this is so realistic and emotional that sensitive children may have difficult time listening to it. Both Beth (10) and Rose (11) absolutely loved it and was not bothered by the intensity of the scenes.
A really neat aspect to this production is the availability of a study guide. There is more historical information which I found to be excessively balanced and more informational than what I was taught in traditional schools. Each track has a set of “Listening Well” questions to help students (especially the younger ones) better understand what they are hearing. There are also “Thinking Further” questions that are excellent for older students. Each track also has a set of vocabulary words which may be unfamiliar. The “Expand Your Learning” sections provide even more opportunity to learn about the cultural, social, and political aspects of this time. There are also many other activities to go along with this section to further learning and discussion.There is also a beautifully outlined Bible study available. This could be a great small-group opportunity for youth and would be very unique.
One of my favorite extra resources is the chart comparing the American Revolution and the French Revolution. I was always led to believe they were incredibly similar, but nothing could be further from the truth. This logical chart shows the spectacular differences, many of which are alluded to in the drama.

If you  want to get even more out of your experience, the Live The Adventure Club is a great place to go! Here you can access even more content such as the original e-book, the official sound track, printable posters, and the official script. There are so many wonderful features you can use this as a spring-board for a fabulous unit study.

Check out this incredible preview! 
We can’t wait to hear another production from Heirloom Audio Productions!

Don’t forget to check out what my Crewmates have to say!

In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}Crew Disclaimer