Wheeler, Patti and Hemstreet, Keith. Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Hawaii (#6)
September 6th 2016 by Greenleaf Book Group Press
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central
Gannon and Wyatt are off to Hawaii with their father, an artist, and their mother, who is an airline steward. They are homeschooled, and their homework often involves reporting on their adventures and researching the curricular tie ins. While their parents are working, they are in the care of Alana, and on a mission for the Young Explorer's' Society. On one trip, they see a man struggling in the surf and rescue him. Barely able to speak, he gives them a map and indicates that they need to keep it hidden. The man turns out to be Professor Makaha, who is investigating reports that the grave site of King Kamehameha has been found. Mr. Sato shows up, claiming to be working with the professor and wanting information from the boys. Along with Alana, the boys decide to investigate and uncover a conspiracy.
The descriptions of the flora and fauna in Hawaii were very detailed, and Gannon and Wyatt get to experience a lot of it! From getting caught in a blizzard to getting a little too close to an active volcano, the boys experience the outdoor wonders first hand so that readers who may never get there can understand them.
This series describes lots of different countries and climates, and discusses the ramifications of human footprints on delicate ecosystems. I can see this being used in a STEM classroom to illustrate a number of science related points. There is also a wealth of information about the culture of Hawaii.
Readers who like travel books with action and adventure, like Skurzynski's Mysteries in Our National Parks or Marsh's Real Kids, Real Places books will learn a lot from their adventures with Gannon and Wyatt.
My favorite part was where they find the tiki statue in a building site and then bad things start to happen. Wait... that was a Brady Bunch episode. That's the first place my mind went when we found out about a hotel that developers want to build. While I can see these being popular with some children, this book was a little too pat for me, and my students would think the cover is cheesy. Think I'll pass on purchase, since I don't have the other five books in the series.