The Travels With Gannon & Wyatt series is a set of middle-grade books written by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet, loosely based on the travel experiences of the real Gannon and Wyatt, homeschooled twins with very impressive passports. Katarina and I read all three books last week, and really enjoyed them. I think these books would appeal to both girls and boys of middle-grade ages. They might be just the thing to get your reluctant reader to ask for extra time to read just one more chapter before bedtime.
I enjoyed all the adventure, but as a mom, I was most impressed by the educational moments. Did you know there is a rainforest in Canada? I knew it was there, but I did not know much about it. What about the Spirit Bear, also known as a Kermode Bear? They are North American Black Bears with a rare genetic mutation that gives them a white coat. You can see one pictured on the cover of Great Bear Rainforest.
I love it when a book inspires further research, and this book did just that. Katarina spent a whole evening online looking up information about rainforests, spirit bears, and Canada after she finished the book.
It is one thing for a mom to enjoy a book and tout the mix of adventure story and educational story, but it doesn't mean anything if kids aren't really interested in reading it. After we finished all three books, I sat down with Katarina to talk about her thoughts on the series.
Interview With Katarina
Tracie: What did you think about the Travels with Gannon & Wyatt series?
Katarina: I think this is a very good book series for kids. Younger kids might be scared during some parts, like when the rhino attacks their Jeep in Botswanna and a poacher tries to kidnap Wyatt, so I would recommend them for kids older than eight. They are well-written, and I appreciate that they used photographs instead of illustrations in each book.
I really like that one aspect of the books is fully real. The Youth Exploration Society was created by the real-life Gannon and Wyatt to promote travel and learning about cultures and languages around the world. They focus on protecting wildlife, the environment, and cultures, as well as literacy and health issues. It is open to anyone who wants to join. If you submit a cause that is important to you, they will add it to their map so that other people can learn about it and help.
Tracie: Did you identify with anything in these books?
Katarina: I like that it is collection of journal entries, because I think it is interesting to read the story as told from Gannon and Wyatt's point of view, and I enjoy journalling. Gannon and Wyatt are homeschooled, and I relate to that because I'm also homeschooled, even though I don't travel like they do.
In the books, Gannon spends a lot of time filming their adventures. That is something I am interested in, too. I think writing and filming go well together, because you can write what you feel about a personal experience, but if you also film it, it is an opportunity to help people understand your feelings more in depth.
Tracie: Which book was your favorite out of the three?
Katarina: It is hard to pick just one, because I enjoyed the entire series, but I think Egypt is my favorite book so far. I can hardly wait for more of them to come out.
Tracie: What did you like about Egypt?
Katarina: I liked the book as a whole. I especially liked it when they found something really interesting. I can not say what that interesting thing was, because I would give away the entire book.
Tracie: After reading these books, do you feel inspired to travel?
Katarina: I have always wanted to travel to some specific places. I don't like traveling to dangerous places as much as Gannon and Wyatt obviously do, but I have always wanted to go to China. I am hoping they will do a book on that country. I would also like to go to the United Kingdom one day, so I'm very excited about the book on Ireland that is coming out later in the series.
I am excited to tell you that Greenleaf Book Group is giving away a set of the first three Travels With Gannon & Wyatt books - Botswana, Great Bear Rainforest, and Egypt (which will officially be released in January 2014) - to one of my readers.
Use this Rafflecopter widget to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway will run until November 25, 2013 at 12am EST.
Rules and other legal things:
-You must be a US resident with a US mailing address to enter.
-Winner will be contacted by email.
-Winner will have 24 hours to respond.
*For more giveaway fun, check out the Travels with Gannon and Wyatt Facebook page, where three Kindle Fires are being given away in the month of November.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.