Rediscovering Chose Your Own Adventure Books
Do you remember choose your own adventure books? When I was a kid, I used to love them. At a certain age, they could really immerse me in the story more than any other books I had read up to that point. The story would take you to a cliffhanger and then give you a variety of different choices. Depending on what choice you made, You would have to flip to a different page. The writing wasn't sensational, but it was good enough to immerse you in the action. The stakes were always high, and the choices you made could mean the difference between life and death – at least for the main character in the story.
Best of all, if things turned out badly for you, you can always start over again at the last cliffhanger and make different choices. Unfortunately, for many years the choose your own adventure book has fallen by the wayside in favor of more sophisticated and advanced forms of technology. Video games are the main culprit of course, but the advances in special effects technology have also caused a big shakeup. Kids are less drawn to action and adventure novels than they used to be. After all, Hollywood can give you such a grand, convincing thrill that it is hard for choose your own adventure books to compete.
Lately, however, choose your own adventure books have been making a big resurgence. It's hard to find the actual original choose your own adventure novels, and for a while they were extremely rare. Nowadays, however, the original series is being republished, and there is rumor of new stories coming out. This could be better news, both for today's children, and people of my generation who were raised on these books. I'm glad that the company decide to republish them. In my opinion, good children's books are timeless. Sure, people get fascinated with new technologies and flashier special effects, but a good book will always have a place in a child's heart. Choose your own adventure books – and good books in general – have an element of transport in them that doesn't translate well to any other medium. Movies take you away, but as soon as the screen goes blank, it's all over. Books stick with you for years to come.
By allowing kids to participate in the action of the story, the choose your own adventures have provided a brilliant way to make reading enjoyable and attractive to even the most jaded child.