Do you remember your first experience with “Choose Your Own Adventure” books?
Instead of being an observer of the action, for the first time, you could become a participant. You had a starring role in the story and this is one of the reasons they became so popular. This was interactive entertainment before we all discovered video games.
A Different Reality
There is a particular pleasure in being able to re-read those books and discover how different decisions can result in a variety of outcomes. Unless, of course, you had a copy of Inside UFO 54-40. In that particular story, the ultimate outcome was to discover the planet Ultima. However, if you read the book and kept making decisions, you became stuck in a loop where you were bounced back and fourth between the same pages, over, and over.
The only way to discover the fabled planet Ultima was to cheat by flicking through the pages of the book. If you did this then you could find the correct page, but more importantly the page also congratulated you on your innovative thinking and willingness to break the rules.
This difference in approach was also borne out in other ways. The books were more lifelike because you were rewarded in some cases, by making the “wrong” decision. It wasn’t always the right or most clever decision which propelled you forward in the story a concept that was revolutionary at the time.
Picking Your Own Adventure Today
You can still buy copies of the original Choose Your Own Adventure books but they feel a little dated now. Because I had enjoyed them so much as a child I bought one for our youngest daughter who’s first comment was “The inside doesn’t say he or she so why does the cover have a picture of a boy? Girls can have adventures too you know.”
That girl is far too much like me for her own good!
If you move away from the CYOA series and look for alternatives, there are some good ones out there. We have a copy of Choose Your Own Ninjago Mission which is a tie-in to the LEGO series but gives you the same choose your own adventure feel.
Then again, if your child is the imaginative type, why not have them create their own choose your own adventure style book?
Make Your Own Adventure Choice Book
The kit in the PDF below is for an ocean theme pop-up pick your own adventure book. There are blank pages for you and your child to write their story and ocean animal cut-outs to stick to the included paper springs for a pop-up effect. However, you don’t have to make a pop-up book or even an ocean theme story. Instead, you can print out the book pages and write and illustrate a completely individual book.
Our youngest daughter is currently working on her own book about a tween spy who has, as yet, undiscovered super powers. The choices the reader makes are going to determine what super powers the spy has, and how they use them.
So, if you are looking for a rainy day activity for your creative would-be writer, download the kit today, and share with us the wonderful creations they make.