Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Spring Reading 2015 Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Egypt


Fans of movies like "The Mummy" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" will love the story of the twins and their trip to Egypt. When Gannon and Wyatt get the chance to work with a famous archaeologist on his dig, they can't believe they are actually searching for the lost tomb of Cleopatra. Just visiting the city of Cairo itself is an adventure with the architecture, haggling in the marketplace, and the mixture of donkey carts in downtown traffic alongside cars and trucks. Once the boys get to the dig site, they get to work alongside Dr. Aziz, his grad student assistant, and two other teenagers who have been chosen to be part of the team.

Descriptions of desert storms, the grueling work of excavating ruins in the sand, the foods like falafels and flat bread, the descriptions of the extreme temperature differences between day and night all bring to life the tough conditions historians work in at these sites. Even with modern equipment like radar scans, there is still a lot of educated guesses and luck involved.

Another thing about all the books in the series is the way the boys' mother always finds somewhere to volunteer in each place they visit. Whether it is helping to repair a whale watching station damaged by a storm (Great Bear Rainforest), or teaching English to children in a local school as she does in this story, she always finds a way to join in the local community. And their father takes the opportunity to study local art and artists for inspiration with his own work. It really is a learning experience for their whole family wherever they go.

If you haven't tried one of these books yet, this may be a great one to start with - ancient pharaohs, possibly cursed tombs, mummies - it has a lot to offer. Fans of Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles might enjoy another adventure set in Egypt, but without the magical interference.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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