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Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Egypt

Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Egypt

5.0 3
by Keith Hemstreet, Patti Wheeler

After winning a prestigious fellowship from the Youth Exploration Society, Gannon and Wyatt set off on a journey to Egypt. There they study with world-renowned archeologist Dr. Mohammed Aziz, joining him on a quest to find the long lost tomb of the Pharaoh Cleopatra, rumored to hold priceless treasures and secret scrolls containing answers to some of ancient Egypt


After winning a prestigious fellowship from the Youth Exploration Society, Gannon and Wyatt set off on a journey to Egypt. There they study with world-renowned archeologist Dr. Mohammed Aziz, joining him on a quest to find the long lost tomb of the Pharaoh Cleopatra, rumored to hold priceless treasures and secret scrolls containing answers to some of ancient Egypt’s greatest mysteries. But Gannon and Wyatt aren’t the only ones interested in Cleopatra’s secrets. Ruthless tomb robbers are hot on their heels, and the brothers must brave venomous snakes, deadly booby traps, and ancient curses as they find themselves on the verge of a magnificent discovery that could rewrite history.

In the tradition of the historic journals kept by explorers such as Lewis and Clark, Dr. David Livingstone, and Captain James Cook comes the adventure series Travels with Gannon & Wyatt. From Africa to the South Pacific, these twin brothers have traveled the world. You never know what they will encounter as they venture into the wild, but one things is certain,wherever Gannon and Wyatt go, adventure is their constant companion.

You can find Gannon and Wyatt's blog, photographs, and video footage from their real-life expeditions at travelswithgannonandwyatt.com.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Following trips to Botswana and Great Bear Rainforest, this third installment in the series based on real-life brothers Gannon and Wyatt Wheeler sees the eponymous teenage twins journeying to Egypt to take part in an archaeological dig, in search of the fabled tomb of Cleopatra. Intellectual Gannon and wisecracking Wyatt squabble and attempt to one-up each other as they venture into the desert, where they brave sandstorms and their individual doubts and fears. When they find a long-lost tomb, which may belong to Egypt's legendary last Pharaoh, they must contend with booby traps and unscrupulous people bent on taking the treasure for themselves. Wheeler and Hemstreet pack this slim adventure full of facts and trivia, as well as photos and drawings, lending it an educational slant. With clear nods to Indiana Jones and other adventure stories, the fast-paced plot and engaging characters are sure to appeal to a young audience—particularly those familiar with sibling rivalry—who may be inspired to learn more about the associated Youth Exploration Society. Ages 9–12. (Jan.)

Product Details

Greenleaf Book Group Press
Publication date:
Travels with Gannon and Wyatt , #3
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.77(d)
790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt



Greenleaf Book Group Press

Copyright © 2014 Claim Stake Productions
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60832-561-0




DECEMBER 14, 4:51 PM

Right up until this morning, you could say my career as an explorer was going exceptionally well. In all of our recent globe-trotting, my brother and I have saved endangered species, protected threatened habitats, and raised cultural awareness through the publication of our field notes.

I'm not going to lie, all of our success was starting to go to my head. I consider myself a humble guy. Honest, I do. But truth is, I've always pictured myself following in the footsteps of the great explorers—Captain James Cook, Dr. David Livingstone, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. If you had asked me just this morning, I would have said with confidence that one day my name would be added to that list.

But, as they say, life is what happens while you're making other plans.

"It arrived, Wyatt!" I heard Gannon shout at the top of his lungs. "Hurry up and get down here so we can open it!"

I sprang from my desk chair, burst through the door of my bedroom and leapt down the stairs three at a time. Sprinting down the hall, I could see Gannon standing near the front door. In his hand was a large envelope. An envelope we'd been waiting almost three months to receive.

"Give it to me!" I said and snatched it away from him.

The envelope was scrawled with Arabic writing and covered in Egyptian postage. In the upper left corner was a faded black stamp that read:

Youth Exploration Society Cairo, Egypt Office

A few months back, Gannon and I applied for the Youth Exploration Society's Egyptian Antiquities Fellowship. Awarded annually to four lucky teenagers, this fellowship grants winners a one-month expedition in Egypt with a distinguished archeologist.

This year's fellowship is being led by none other than Dr. Mohammed Aziz, a man credited with discovering 99 tombs to date. It was my hope to be part of the team that helped him discover his 100th.

"Are you going to open it or just stare at it all day?" Gannon asked.

This was the moment of truth. At last, we were about to find out if we'd been chosen. I opened up the envelope and removed two letters.

"Read them aloud," Gannon said.

I cleared my throat.

Dear Gannon:

Congratulations! You are one of four candidates that have been awarded the Egyptian Antiquities Fellowship. Please keep this between the two of us, but of all the candidates you were the most qualified. I look very forward to having you on our team!

Dr. Mohammed Aziz, Fellowship Director
Youth Exploration Society

Gannon pumped his fist in the air.

"Oh, yeah!" he said. "I'm going to Egypt, baby!"

Something about the letter just didn't seem right. Gannon, the most qualified candidate? That's just ridiculous. The second most qualified, maybe.

"Read your letter," Gannon said anxiously. "I'm dying to know if you're going to Egypt with me."

I almost laughed at him.

"If they accepted you, they definitely accepted me."

I read the second letter.

Dear Wyatt:

Though we would like to accept you along with your incredibly talented brother, the competition this year was very stiff. I regret to inform you that your application has been denied. Better luck next year.

Dr. Mohammed Aziz, Fellowship Director
Youth Exploration Society

My ego deflated like an untied balloon. I was floored, shocked, and worst of all, humiliated. Not only had I been denied, but I'd lost out to my brother.

"Wow, that's a total bummer," Gannon said. " I was really hoping we'd be going to Egypt together. Oh, well."

How could this have happened? I still can't figure it out.

There must have been some mistake. Maybe they mixed up our applications. Got our names crisscrossed. Given that we're twins, this seems a logical explanation. I bet they meant to accept me and deny Gannon. That's the only thing that makes any sense. After all, I'm the one who's been studying ancient Egypt for the past six months! I'm the one who loves archeology! I'm the aspiring scientist! As a fellow, I would make a meaningful contribution to the expedition! What's Gannon going to do in Egypt? Write poems about the desert?

I looked at my brother. He had a huge smile on his face.

"I can't believe this!" I yelled. "You don't even know anything about Egypt!"

"Don't be such a sore loser," he said. "I know plenty about Egypt."

"Okay, how tall is the Great Pyramid?"

"Much taller than you."

"455 feet."

"And how tall are you?" Gannon replied. "5' 8" tops? Next question."

"How many tombs have been discovered in the Valley of the Kings?"

"A lot."

"62, actually."

"Like I said, a lot. That's Gannon two, Wyatt zero. Just in case you're keeping score. Any more questions, smart guy?"

"Why don't you tell me something about Cleopatra?"

"Cleopatra, a 1963 film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The role of Cleopatra was played by Elizabeth Taylor."

"Are you being serious?"

"Come on, Wyatt. You should know better than to ask me movie trivia. I'm an aspiring filmmaker. You'll never stump me."

The discussion was pointless. My head sank.

"Keep your chin up, Wyatt," Gannon said. "You're no slouch of an explorer. I'd be willing to bet you came in fifth place. Not too shabby. It's like honorable mention. Who knows, maybe someone will drop out and you'll get to take their spot. I doubt it, but you never know."

Gannon patted me on the shoulder and walked off. I glared at him, my blood boiling, as he strolled down the hall whistling casually. If there's one thing Gannon's good at, it's rubbing salt in the wound. It makes losing to him almost unbearable. I had the urge to chase him down and give him a good pummeling, but I knew that wouldn't solve anything. Instead, I ran up to my room and haven't come out all afternoon.

Spread across my desk are several books on Egypt. The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt by Margaret Bunson; Tutankhamen by Howard Carter; Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff. There are drawings of tombs, diagrams of the tunnels and chambers in the Great Pyramid, maps of the Nile River, Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor.

To think of the hours I've spent studying. All those late nights and weekends preparing an application that I thought was a sure thing. As far as I know, Gannon hasn't done anything to prepare. I guess none of that matters now. Bottom line, he's going to Egypt and I'm not.


Okay, okay, I should probably 'fess up. Let's see, how can I put this? I totally messed with my brother's head. Yeah, that's one way. I toyed with his emotions. Sure, that's another. I betrayed his trust in me. Fair enough, I guess that's another, but I like the first two better. They don't sound quite as harsh.

So what did I do to poor Wyatt?

Well, just so happens I was outside this morning when Easy Eddy, our mailman, drove up.

"Hey, Easy Eddy!" I said. "How's it going?"

"Takin' it easy," he said.

"Easy's the only way to take it."

"Right on, brother."

He handed me a stack of mail, shot me the "hang loose" sign, and drove off with his music blaring. I was flipping through the mail as I walked inside and that's when I saw the envelope from Egypt. Pretty much goes without saying that I had to be the first to know if either of us had won the fellowship, so I opened it right away.

When I read that we had both won, I was so excited and almost yelled to Wyatt, but just before I did I was hit with this brilliant idea and instead made a beeline to my dad's office. There, I hid the acceptance letter and typed up two fake letters. One that said I was accepted and another that said Wyatt had been denied. I slid the fake letters into the envelope and resealed it with tape. Oh, man. After Wyatt read those letters he went totally pale and his mouth fell wide open. I'm not joking, it looked like he'd just seen sasquatch or something.

So, do I regret doing such a jerky thing? Are you kidding? No way. Like I said, he's my twin. I would have regretted not doing it.

Of course, my mom wasn't so amused.

"How could you do that to your brother?" she yelled. "You know how much this fellowship means to him. Go apologize right now. Otherwise, I'll call Dr. Aziz and tell him that Wyatt will be coming to Egypt alone."

"Fine," I said. "I'll apologize."

If it were up to me, I'd totally let this joke ride another day. Probably two. But, I guess a few hours of torture is enough. Poor Wyatt's been locked in his room all afternoon, probably pouting over the thought of having to stay at home, farting around with his microscopes and Petri dishes, while I'm blazing trails in Egypt.

Oh, jeez. Too funny!

DECEMBER 14, 8:57 PM

When Gannon told me that he had actually written the letters as a joke and that we'd both really won the fellowship, I almost snapped. A practical joke that cruel deserves serious payback, but at the same time I was so happy that I was going to Egypt I hardly even cared.

I pushed him aside and yelled to my parents:

"Mom, Dad! We won the Youth Exploration Society fellowship! We're going to Egypt!"

My parents walked into the kitchen.

"I heard," my mom said, narrowing her eyes at Gannon.

"Congratulations, boys," my dad said. "That's quite an honor. When does the fellowship begin?"

"In February," Gannon said. "We'll be getting a call in a couple days with more details."

My mom was already thinking ahead.

"Let me know the dates," she said. "I'll call crew scheduling and see if I can work the New York–Cairo flight so we can all fly together."

My dad couldn't wait to set up an easel and canvas on a high dune above the Great Pyramids of Giza and make an oil painting. He's also a great sculptor and was anxious to study the sculpting techniques that the ancient Egyptians used to create some of their most famous monuments, like the Great Sphinx.

"I'm really excited to visit Egypt again," my mom said. She lived in Cairo for several months when she was in college as part of a study abroad program. While she was there she spent some time working at a learning center for children. "I'm going to call some friends and see about volunteering at a literacy program in the city. Did you know that nearly 30 percent of the Egyptian population can't read or write? That should serve as a reminder to you boys. Don't ever take your education for granted."

Even though our home-schooling routine can be a real pain sometimes, she did have a point. There's no denying it, my mom is an amazing teacher.

"Since we're on the topic of education," she continued, "you better put in some extra study time tonight. Your algebra mid-term is tomorrow."

Gannon's shoulders slumped.

"Thanks for the reminder, mom," he said. "Come on, Wyatt. I'll show you how to do all those problems you don't understand."

"Yeah, right," I said as we walked off towards our room. "I could do algebra in my sleep. And after that stunt you pulled with the acceptance letter, don't even think about asking me for help."

"Fair enough," Gannon said, laughing again at the joke he'd played on me. "Fair enough."


Our flight from Colorado was bumpy right after take off , which isn't all that unusual when you fl y out of Denver, but no matter how many times I go through it I still get all fidgety and sweaty and today was no different. After we got to a certain altitude, though, the plane steadied and I was able to kick back in my seat and relax the rest of the way across the country.

We arrived in New York's LaGuardia Airport sometime late afternoon with a few hours to burn before our next flight, so we ducked into an airport café and polished off some chicken strips and soggy fries, then went browsing around the duty-free shops. I bought a new inflatable neck pillow and some spearmint gum for the long flight and by then it was time to make our way to the gate.

I'm in seat 36B, a dreaded middle seat. Wyatt's also stuck in a middle seat several rows back. Of course, my dad lucked out. He's in an aisle seat, so, naturally, I tried to swindle him out of it.

"Here's what we'll do," I said. "I'll flip this quarter. Heads I win the aisle seat. Tails you lose it."

"I may have been born at night," my dad said, "but it wasn't last night."

So here I am, crammed between two Egyptian men who don't speak a lick of English. It seems my mom should get some kind of preferential seating, being a long-time flight attendant for the airline and all, but that's not how it works. We have to take whatever seats are available, which, I guess, is the only real downside of the airline's free flying policy for families. Not that I'm complaining.

The flight from New York City to Cairo is about eleven and a half hours. I'd say we've been airborne for about two hours now, give or take, but it seems more like ten. Wyatt told me Cairo time is six hours ahead of New York, so factoring in our flying time and the time zone changes and all that, we should be landing around 4:00 pm tomorrow ... that is, if my calculations are correct, and that's never a given. I'll say this, whatever time we land, I definitely foresee a case of jetlag in my future.

Since we took off, I've had my English-Arabic dictionary spread across my lap and have been practicing some phrases. "As-salamu Alaykum," is the most common greeting in Arabic. People say it like English speakers say "hello," but it really means, "peace be upon you." Of course, "As-salamu Alaykum" is the phonetic spelling, which basically means that it's written using the English alphabet so that people like me can read it. Written in Arabic, "As-salamu Alaykum" looks like this:


Thank goodness for the phonetic spelling, because I'd have some trouble sounding that out.

My mom's always said that there's no better way to learn a new language than to talk with native speakers, so I tested out some phrases on the two men sitting next to me.

"As-salamu Alaykum," I said.

"As-salamu Alaykum," each responded.

I looked back to my dictionary, scanning the page for something else to say.

"Kef halak?" I finally asked, which means, "how are you?"

One of them said a bunch of stuff and I didn't know what any of it meant, but still, I didn't want to seem rude by not responding, so I quickly reverted to English.

"Okay, great," I said.

"Great," the other man repeated.

I looked back to my book.

"Esmak Eh?" I asked, which in English means, "What is your name?"

"Mohammed," the man to my left said.

I turned to the other man and asked the same.

"Mohammed," he replied.

"Really?" I said. "You're both named Mohammed? What a coincidence."

"Mohammed," one of them repeated, nodding.

"My name is Gannon."

"Ganyon," one of the men said, like "Canyon," but with a "G."

"Gannon," I said again, slowly.

"Gah-noon," he said, making a second attempt.

"Close enough."

They both smiled.

I was really having fun talking with both Mohammeds, but to have a real conversation and actually learn something about these guys, like where they're from and what they do for a living and stuff like that, I'd need to know a heck of a lot more Arabic.

"Right, well, it's been nice talking to you," I said and pointed to my dictionary, "but I'm going to keep studying."

"Yes," Mohammed to my left said.

"Study," said Mohammed to my right.

I nodded and just like that, our conversation was over.

Okay, that's enough journaling for now. Hand's cramping.

More later ...

FEBRUARY 22, 12:14 AM

There aren't many things I enjoy more than the start of a new adventure, all the build up as the day draws near, wondering what we might see and learn when we get there. And then, finally, the day comes. Well, today is one of those days. We're officially en route to Egypt, and this adventure holds big promise.

Long flights provide lots of quiet time for reading and writing. I've got my overhead light on and all my notes spread out on the plane's tray table along with a few books that I was able to stuff into my backpack.

Egypt was home to one of the world's great civilizations. It's really amazing what they were able to accomplish thousands of years ago. How they did it all is somewhat of a mystery. Fact is, scientists still don't know for sure how the Great Pyramids of Giza were actually built. And new discoveries are being made all the time. That's what has me really excited about this expedition. Important discoveries can still be made. Discoveries that could rewrite history!


Excerpted from TRAVELS WITH GANNON & WYATT: EGYPT by PATTI WHEELER, KEITH HEMSTREET. Copyright © 2014 Claim Stake Productions. Excerpted by permission of Greenleaf Book Group Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Patti Wheeler, producer of the web series Travels with Gannon & Wyatt: Off the Beaten Path, began traveling at a young age and has nurtured the spirit of adventure in her family ever since. For years it has been her goal to create children's books that instill the spirit of adventure in young people. The Youth Exploration Society and Travels with Gannon & Wyatt are the realization of her dream.

Keith Hemstreet is a writer, producer, and cofounder of the Youth Exploration Society. He attended Florida State University and completed his graduate studies at Appalachian State University. He lives in Aspen, Colorado, with his wife and three daughters.

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Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Egypt 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
A recipient of the Mom's Choice Awards! The Mom's Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for parents and educators and is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. Using a rigorous evaluation process, entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media trust the MCA Honoring Excellence seal when selecting quality products and services for families and children.
BLBH More than 1 year ago
Once again the author has set his sights on a great adventure for the two explorers! It doesn't take you long to realize that this book will throw you head over heels into an adventure of a lifetime. Don't think for a moment that it is a ho-hum book! On your seats edge you will find yourself and stay that way throughout. Don't hold off.....go buy the book and when you finish, pass it on to another young reader so as not to deprive him or her of the great adventures within the cover.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
What’s the best way to show a young reader the joys of the world of reading? Give them an easy to read book about the adventures of two characters they can relate to who bring them along on their journey. Travels with Gannon & Wyatt by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet is based on the real-life travels of two boys given the opportunity to travel the world with their parents, told as journal entries made by Gannon and Wyatt. Accepted into the Youth Exploration Society’s Egyptian Antiquities Fellowship program, the boys learn of the rich history of Cairo, explore ancient tombs, seeing and experiencing things in a way far richer than textbook reading or museums could offer. Sharing their thoughts and experiences through their journals is a wonderfully personal way to include the reader on their journey! Geared to younger readers, this well written story blends entertainment and learning in a remarkably magnetic way! The book moves along smoothly and the “voices” of each of the boys comes through with the sense of adventure and excitement they are feeling. I received an ARC edition from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.