When I was a kid, I LOVED the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series. I have no concept of when I read them, but recall thinking that the concept was so much fun. In these books, you are part of the story. The stories are written in the second person and the reader gets to take on a role in the book. As you read through the book, you follow directions at the bottom of each page about where to go next and from time to time you make a decision based on two choices.
Honestly, I hadn’t thought much about them for my own little reader. I somehow assumed that the old books would still be out there, but hadn’t checked into it yet. As it turns out, in 2005 one of the authors of many of the books, R.A. Montgomery, started his own publishing company to reprint these old books – with some updated editing and artwork. Thanks to a good friend and fellow book addict, we borrowed one of these books and quickly ordered the first four to have in our own collection.
Each book starts out the same, with this warning to grab a kid’s attention:
This book is different from other books.
You and YOU ALONE are in charge of what happens in this story.
There are dangers, choices, adventures, and consequences. YOU must use all of your numerous talents and much of your enormous intelligence. The wrong decision could end in disaster – even death. But, don’t despair. At any time, YOU can go back and make another choice, alter the path of your story, and change its result.
What kid doesn’t like to be in control? My daughter definitely loves it and J thinks these books are awesome. I was a little concerned since the one we got our hands on was Secret of the Ninja, which isn’t exactly her favorite subject, but once she started playing around with the concept and realized that she was a part of the story, she was hooked. I think she read that one book about 5 times in one day, each time getting a different ending. She read it to me repeatedly so that I could make the decisions about where we should go. She read it to her father. She almost read it to her uncle via skype!
I love that she is excited by this series. They say that the books are for kids age 9 and up, but for most 6 year olds you could read it with them and they would get it. It always offers great opportunities to explain things that they don’t understand.
There is also a series within Choose Your Own Adventure called Dragonlark which is aimed at younger readers. They actually look pretty cool too, but I haven’t actually gotten my hands on one yet.