By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer
Gannon and Wyatt, two teenage explorers with a taste for travel and exotic misadventures, have survived illegal hunters in Botswana, Africa, and the unforgiving wilds of Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. Now, in the third installment of author Patti Wheeler’s popular series, she takes the journal-writing twin brothers to Egypt in search of Cleopatra’s tomb. Each boy’s unique personality comes alive in Wheeler’s tightly-focused writing, and the fact-filled plot absorbs you with its steady pace and exciting dangers.
It’s clear right from the get-go that Wheeler is passionate about her characters, cleverly switching from Wyatt’s no-nonsense seriousness to Gannon’s flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants tone. The twins, who are inspired by exploration greats like Lewis and Clark, Dr. David Livingstone, and Captain James Cook, will make you laugh out loud with excitement as they narrowly escape dangers in Cairo, Luxor, and the Nile. Your word-hungry fingers and eyes will flip through the pages in a hypnotic trance, eagerly chasing after the risk-taking brothers as they escape curses, tomb robbers, and dust storms. In fact, you probably won’t even notice all the learning taking place, as your mind is filled with real-world geography, Egyptian culture, and history.
While the book is aimed at ages 9-12, even adults will be drawn in by Wyatt and Gannon’s insightful thinking, witty smarts, and hilarious sibling bickering. Then, if you find yourself wanting to learn everything you can about Egypt after finishing the breathtaking novel, guess what? The author has in-depth content available as part of the international Youth Exploration Society (Y.E.S.), whose motto is “The world is our classroom”. You can sign up and get involved with all the globetrotting enthusiasm of Gannon and Wyatt, minus the life-threatening risks! Explore other countries, like Egypt, and help change the world by unlocking the secrets in the Y.E.S. Global Library.
Wheeler will have you signing on the dotted line to join Y.E.S. with a satisfied splash of ink, because Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Egypt delivers the perfect balance of education and good times. It’s funny, you’ll care about the characters, it’s educational, and the fast-paced excitement never slows. Our final verdict? This book gets an “A+”.
Images courtesy of Patti Wheeler and Greenleaf Book Group Press.