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Walking to Woot By Jackie Chase

Walking to Woot is an action packed travel documentary by an experienced traveler and mom  who takes a month long trip into Papua New Guinea to live among the Dani tribes in the wilderness.  The book describes their travel in detail and how living in the wilderness with limited ability to communicate not only changed them as people but developed their relationship between each other.  There are also many pictures spread throughout the chapters to give another layer of life to their story.  Katherine’s, the daughter of the author, travel journal is also included in the back of the book.  The author also makes appendixes that contain helpful to other travelers.

This book was a fast paced, fun read.  I have absolutely no desire to travel to the places that the author has visited and loves but I found so much value in her work.  Not only getting to see the pictures the document the way these tribes live but also to get to read about their customs and regular activities and how their way of doing life have so profoundly influenced the character of the author and her daughter.  There was a perfect mixture of tension and pure joy that is shared with the reader.  Perhaps some of the most tense moments for me was when several young children lead the author and her daughter into a jungle where there are cannibals living, when the author’s daughter became desperately ill and needed care at the emergency shelter in a “least developed country”, and the run ins the group had with wild animals especially deadly and giant snakes.

There wasn’t much to complain about in this book.  The story is overall well developed and thorough.  I got a good idea of the depth of souls of the author and her daughter and could related to them.  Perhaps the only part that could use a clean up is the last several chapters because they were moving slowly and probably could be condensed into just a couple of chapters. The flow was much different from the beginning of the novel and felt a little more forced.

Anyone who enjoys memoirs, travel stories, or history will find this to be a great read.  This is a true adventure story that will keep you reading.  I am interested to check out the author’s travel websites as well.  Her love for learning about other cultures and for a good adventure really shines in her work and getting to learn from her experience is a real treat and treasure.

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