Author Interview: Travels with Gannon and Wyatt (Book Giveaway)
January 24, 2011 in Book Club Possibility, Books with Science Content, Books with Science Content, Books With Social Studies Content, Elementary Educators, Middle Grade Novel, Middle School Teachers, multicultural books, Writing Skills Tags: adventure books, books about Africa, middle grade novels for boys, middle-grade novels
I would like to welcome, Patti Wheeler, co-author of the Travels with Gannon and Wyatt adventure series to my blog today. Patti is giving away a copy of the first book in the series, Botswana. To win a copy of this well-written book in “journal-style” that kids will just eat up, please leave a comment or question for Patti by next Sunday, January 30 at 8 pm below in the comments section. One winner (who lives in either the United States of Canada) will be chosen and a book will be mailed to her. Middle-grade readers, boys and girls, will love this book!
On to the interview. . .
Patti Wheeler feels her greatest accomplishment is being the mother to twins Gannon and Wyatt. Her priority has been to educate, nurture, and to help the boys develop the important qualities of generosity, leadership, and compassion. For years, it has been Patti’s goal to create a children’s book series that instills the spirit of exploration in young people. Travels with Gannon and Wyatt is the realization of her dream. (Future books include adventures in the Great Bear Rainforest, Egypt and the Serengeti.) In addition to the book series, Patti is the founder of Claim Stake Productions/Publishing, executive producer and director of the TV pilot Travels with Gannon and Wyatt Off the Beaten Path: Egypt and co-wrote, with Keith Hemstreet, the screenplay Botswana, which was an official selection of the 2010 Beverly Hills Film Festival. Patti lives in Aspen, Colorado with her husband and sons.
The first book set in Botswana introduces you to Gannon and Wyatt and the journal format as the brothers find themselves faced with a poacher while on an African Safari. Will Gannon and Wyatt stop the poacher in time? A perfect book for boys (and girls!).
Margo: Welcome, Patti, thanks for visiting with me about Travels with Gannon and Wyatt. Where did you get the idea for Travels with Gannon & Wyatt: Botswana?
Patti: I got the idea one year while traveling with my family. I was thinking about all the fascinating and wonderful places we were visiting each year. We wanted to share our incredible adventures with the world, and what better way of doing that than through books and video.
Margo: I completely agree. What other books are planned for the series?
Patti: The books that are already planned for the series are Great Bear Rainforest, Egypt, Greenland, Iceland, Tanzania, and there are six more being discussed (including possibly China, India, the South Pacific, and the American West).
Margo: WOW! Sounds awesome! Who are the perfect readers for this book and the sequels?
Patti: 4th-12th graders who are interested in travel or adventure–our sweet spot is grades 4 through 8.
Margo: What can children learn from reading Travels with Gannon & Wyatt?
Patti: Children can learn that the world is their classroom, and “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” (Mark Twain). Children can also learn to explore, help their communities, and embrace diversity through philanthropy.
Margo: I love that Mark Twain quote! What are two or three activities children can do that come from reading this book?
Patti: This book offers students the opportunity to read and turn in book reports in school. Children are introduced to the Youth Exploration Society (Y.E.S.) in the book, which promotes giving back to communities, encourages exploration, and supports a clean and healthy environment. Also, reading this book encourages readers to get involved with children from around the world; be active in the environment through hiking, camping, and exploring; and share in positive family involvement.
Margo: Terrific! What type of information do you provide on your website and blog?
Patti: Travelswithgannonandwyatt.com is packed with tons of information about wildlife, the environment, foreign countries, different cultures, and beautiful photos from our Safari in Botswana as well as pictures of the people we met there. We also have several videos, so you can see the animals in action. Check out our Media Room to see clips of the real-life Gannon and Wyatt meeting young readers and answering questions for TV interviews. While you’re there, be sure to join the Youth Exploration Society (Y.E.S.) and tell us what causes are important to you!
Margo: You heard it, guys. Check out the website and sign up for Y.E.S. Soon you’ll be exploring just like Gannon and Wyatt. Don’t forget to enter the comment contest below by Sunday night, January 30!