You May Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose Your Own Adventure books

Man, I used to love the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Was it the superb cover design?

Choose Your Own Adventure cover images

Or was it the excellent writing? I guess it was the (false) feeling of having some control over where the story would go.

The first one I remember reading was “Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey”. Old Harlowe sounds like a Batman character, but rather than finding out that he’s a super villain intent on destroying the universe, he merely dies (obvs) providing a mystery for you, the protagonist, to solve. The only character I actually recall from the story is the female friend with curly red hair; early evidence of my later taste?

Using the amazing power of Google images and Wikipedia, I realise that I must have read the entire series of CYOA books that were published between 1979 and around 1988. And, in the true style of kid reading, I reckon I read them all in the space of about 6 months. You just plow through books at that age.

What about you? Did you get into the CYOA books? What was your fave?

All of this is a really roundabout way to let you know that, during the month of May, I’ll be running a little thing I’m gonna call “You May Choose Your Own Adventure”. You see what I did there? After each of my Friday Flash Fictions, there’ll be a poll and you can choose where the story will go next. I’m actually rather attached to the story that I’ve started with, so it’s going to be hard to see where you’re going to force me to go. But it’s all in the name of entertainment, and what’s writing if it’s not entertaining?

Today in Croatia we celebrated Labour Day – by which I mean we had the day off school and drank some beer. I hope you had a nice day wherever you were and whatever you did. Because, you know what? We all choose our own damn adventures.

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0 Responses

  1. I loved them too, though I can’t remember the details of any I read. Just a vague impression of unlikely journeys to pyramids, jungles and the like. Did you only read the story as you chose it, or did you go back and change your choices so you could read the whole thing?

    1. I had a terrible system where I would keep my finger on the choice page and then scoot ahead to see what those pages led to. I felt like this wasn’t cheating as I hadn’t actually properly finished turning the page yet… By the end of the book, though, it meant that I’d read all the different versions. I feel like this helped me later in life to be a really good card player 🙂
      Greg The Stop Sign says that the series is back so you’ll be able to give them to your kid. Or maybe write your own! Ooh, that would be cool! Get on to that!

  2. I read a number of CYOA titles in that picture above. One that stands out is Escape (#20) because it was the first CYOA title that I read. I was attracted to it by the cover art.

    You have to admit that the cool covers of the first 60 or so titles did much to attract readers to them. These original covers were the best. Covers for the subsequent titles and re-issues of the older titles weren’t as cool.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.

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