Travels with Gannon & Wyatt
Do you ever long for adventure? Do you wish you could just pack a bag, jump on an airplane and go…somewhere, anywhere?
Someplace where you will have an epic adventure…
Exploring new places where few people have had the opportunity to explore…
Taking risks you might not take in your comfort zone at home…
Learning about and engaging with the culture and the people around you…
Seeing incredible animals in their natural environments up close and personal…
Discovering not only the cultural aspects of a new place, but learning about the geography, the weather, even the different plants that can grow in that region…
But it sounds like it would be so much work. Trying to find out all these different elements would take so much research. It’s one of those big ideas you talk yourself out of even before you begin, isn’t it? But what if you could? What if you could go on an epic adventure like you’ve always wanted? What if you could do it without leaving the comfort of your favorite reading chair?
Have you ever walked into a bookstore looking for a particular book, but you end up finding something new and different instead? What about at the library? Have you ever walked in hoping to find one thing and discovered a gem of a book you never would have found if you weren’t open to looking for new things?
That’s how my family first learned about Gannon and Wyatt. You see, we were getting ready to study Ireland as part of our geography series. So, I got on our library’s online catalog to find and reserve books to add to our study. As I looked through the books about Ireland, one particular book jumped off the screen and grabbed my attention.
At first, it was the title that caught my eye: ‘Travels with Gannon & Wyatt: Ireland.’ I was looking for books about Ireland, so this one seems to fit perfectly. But, as I looked closer and read the synopsis, my curiosity was piqued. You see, this wasn’t just a book about Ireland. It wasn’t a book of pictures or facts and figures, interesting as some of those books are. This was a book about twin brothers who went on a trip to Ireland and had an incredible adventure!
Not Just A Book, A Field Journal
From the first moment I held this book in my hands, I knew there was something different about it. You see, this isn’t your typical adventure book. And it isn’t a dry reference book about the country. And it isn’t a picture book giving quick facts about the country. In fact, it seems to belong in a category all its own.
You see, this book doesn’t have chapters. Instead, it’s written like a travel journal. Almost like you are able to read the field notes and daily personal musings of a great explorer as they’re on their expedition. Immediately you feel like you’re part of the story; like you’re right next to Gannon and Wyatt as they start their adventure, walking with them each step of the way.
As you start reading, you’re transported. You’re taken along on the journey. Oh, you don’t immediately start off on the adventure. You aren’t dropped into the middle of a situation not knowing what’s going on or how you got there in the first place. Instead, you join the story at the beginning, finding out how Gannon and Wyatt got the opportunity to travel to this new place. To go on this new adventure.
You begin the journey with them from the very start. You travel with them through the airports, feeling what they feel as the plane touches down in a place you’ve never been. Each entry from Gannon and Wyatt brings you deeper into the story, carries you along further on the adventure. You become part of the story. You feel like you’re along on this expedition without even leaving the comfort of your favorite reading chair.
From start to finish, this book is unlike any other children’s book! But it’s more than simply the setup of the book. It’s more than simply the travel journal style. So much of the draw of this book is how the personalities of each character shine through their individual journal entries, grabbing your attention and pulling you into the story with each and every word.
Wait, individual journal entries? This book was about a journey told from one person’s point of view, wasn’t it? Well, yes and no. This book is all about an epic travel adventure, but it’s the adventure of twin brothers, Gannon and Wyatt. So instead of telling the story from one point of view, the book is written from the viewpoint of both brothers, one at a time.
But don’t think for a moment you’ll be reading the same exact events from two different points of view for the whole book! While it’s true that Gannon and Wyatt experience the same events, while it is true you’re reading both of their experiences in a field journal style, the story itself does not overlap in the journal entries. It’s a brilliant way to tell an adventure story!
Meet Gannon and Wyatt
So many times people think of twins as the same person. And yet, even though twins may share many physical characteristics and some personality traits, they each have their own distinct personalities and interests. These interconnected and yet individually distinct personalities are clearly seen through Gannon and Wyatt.
Gannon is all about the people, the culture, and the stories of the places he visits. He studies the language before he arrives. He reads up on folklore and really works to understand the culture and the history of each place. He’s enamored by the stories passed down from generation to generation and never misses an opportunity to chat with the locals and learn more about their culture and background.
Wyatt is much more geared to the sciences. Oh, he enjoys connecting with and talking with people, but he loves the geology of the land, the topography, the details and the reasons for the different types of weather they experience in each new place they visit. He enjoys studying the history of the people and the country from a factual perspective.
The beauty of these two distinct, yet complimenting personalities is that you’re able to see such a well rounded picture of the culture, the people, the geography, they land, the weather, and the folklore of each place that Gannon and Wyatt visit. But how do you see it?
Remember that travel journal format the book is written in? The journal you hold in your hands is unique because it doesn’t have just one person’s point of view — it has two! You alternate reading the journal entries of Gannon and Wyatt throughout the book which gives you this beautiful, full picture of the events as they happen. Of the land, the people, and the animals they encounter. Of the weather, the adventures, and the background story that gives depth and meaning. Of the epic adventures they find themselves in.
But it’s more than that. You don’t simply learn about the events and the adventure. You get to know Gannon. You get to know Wyatt. You learn about their personalities as their unique perspectives help shape your view of their trip.
One of the most intriguing things about the series Travels with Gannon & Wyatt is the amount of information you’re given about the culture and the place where Gannon and Wyatt visit. And the best part of all? Most of the time you don’t realize you’re picking up as much information as you really are!
There’s a huge amount of information packed into each book, but it is presented so naturally. And not only is the presentation good, but the facts presented are true. These books are not only entertaining, but very well researched. Yet, through it all you never feel like you’re reading a dry research book!
You feel like you’re learning right along with Gannon and Wyatt as you find out more and more information. The story of the culture is woven into conversations. Tidbits of information about history or wind or weather are shared as naturally as if you were writing in your own journal and wanted to make sure to remember a specific bit of interesting information you learned. Different facts about how animals are created, their habits and environments are shared as you track different animals to capture them on camera or help them if they’re hurt.
Have you ever wanted to take a week long backpacking safari into the Okavango Delta? (Or even wonder where the Okavango Delta is!) What about living on a boat and taking excursions into the only temperate rainforest on earth? Have you every wanted to drive a dog sled team? Or hike a mountain with snow on top in the morning and enjoy the beach in the afternoon? What about helping out on a farm to learn the history and culture of a region? Or being a part of an archeological dig?
The incredible thing is, you can! You can take each and every one of these adventures through the words of Gannon and Wyatt!
One of the uniquely defining features of these books is that they’re not typical! Think about it: When you think of someone visiting a place like Ireland you would expect them to do all the touristy things, right? And while Gannon and Wyatt do get a chance to visit Blarney Castle and even kiss the Blarney Stone, that’s not the bulk of their adventure!
Their adventures take them off the beaten path. For example, on their adventure in Ireland, Gannon and Wyatt have the opportunity to work on a family farm for a week, experiencing what local life really looks like. Now, this might not sound like a thrilling adventure in and of itself, but with Gannon and Wyatt, anything can happen!
This seemingly simple adventure of helping out on a farm and learning about the local culture through their host family turns into an epic adventure when they discover some things happening in the countryside that are just not right. They resolve to get to the bottom of the situation no matter what.
It’s that thirst for adventure, that desire to help out their new friends in any way possible, that yearning to see things that are wrong put right that gives Gannon and Wyatt so many adventures. Their desire to right the wrongs, to protect this wonderful planet in any way that they can, and to treasure good friendships and make new friends wherever they go is what endears them to readers everywhere.
The Kid Test
As any parent knows, the true test of a good children’s book is whether or not children will read it or if it will just sit on the shelf collecting dust. And while I could go on and on about this incredible series, the moment of truth came when I handed the books to my children.
I knew we had found something special when my kids couldn’t put the books down! I knew they were getting into the series when they kept asking for more books about Gannon and Wyatt’s adventures. Here’s what they have to say:
The book keeps you on your toes. The twins get into such exciting adventures.Jesse, age 11
Amazing! I like that they climbed a volcano.Josh, age 7
The action and adventure, travel and incredible animals grabbed and held their attention from the first page until the last word.
The Final Chapter
Since we first found ‘Ireland’ by accident, we have collected and read all 6 of the books in this adventure series! And let me tell you, not one of these books has been a disappointment! They have all delivered a gripping story, a thrilling adventure, true facts and information, and a culture to appreciate.
As both a reader and a mom, I absolutely love this series! The importance of family, loyalty to friends, helping others, and working hard come through in every book. The adventures that Gannon and Wyatt embark on give you a glimpse of a part of the world where you might not have been or may not ever get to visit. And it’s not only an adventure, but it’s a learning experience: finding out different things about the land and the animals they encounter, the history of the place where they visit and some of the customs of the people they befriend.
‘Travels with Gannon & Wyatt’ is a rare diamond that shines bright. A series that both parents and kids will enjoy reading on their own or together.
Check out the links below to grab your very own copies of ‘Travels with Gannon & Wyatt.’ As of now, there are six books in the series: Botswana, Great Bear Rainforest, Egypt, Greenland, Ireland, and Hawaii. I can only hope that Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet continue writing!
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- For more information and to see more photos of Gannon and Wyatt’s adventures, check out their website: TravelsWithGannonAndWyatt .com
Elizabeth Tatham, founder of Inspiration in the Everyday, is a homeschooling momma of 5 who loves helping other homeschooling mommas create a unique homeschooling adventure your kids will love…without the overwhelm! Join in on the journey with 7 simple steps to make your homeschooling day go faster, easier, and with less tears here.