Updated: Apr 20, 2022
The Choose Your Own Adventure books is a series of wildly popular interactive books that were released from 1979 to 1998 by Bantam books. They sold over 250 million copies. I remember reading quite a few of these myself when I was a kid.
They are written in the second person and in them the reader takes on the role of the protagonist who might be a detective, race car driver, explorer, time traveler, and so on. Once the story gets going, the reader is faced with choices as to how to proceed. This leads to multiple paths and endings, some good, some bad. The great thing about this is that these books can be reread many times with a different experience every time. The number of endings in the series varied from 7 to 44.
Kids loved the fact that they were active participants in the adventure. The format was so popular that almost twenty other similar series were launched soon after. The genre became known as ‘Gamebooks’.
This ‘interactive fiction’ type of non-linear story telling made its way into video games where the players determine where the story takes them. This makes them more appealing to reluctant readers who are also into video games.
Read a book! Have an adventure!
M. C. Gladd
If your interested, check out my middle grade portal fantasy novel, Nowonderland.
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