80′s Throwback: Choose Your Own Adventure Turns 30!

Geek Culture

Attempt to cross the rickety bridge, turn to page 38. Double-back down the path and take the left fork in the road, turn to page 121.

How many times did you sit with your finger holding the previous page as you peeked to see if the bridge crumbled beneath you? I remember the excitement and the challenge of getting through a book without falling down a dark pit or being bitten by a rattlesnake. As a kid, I spent the first part of many a trip to the library looking for the latest Choose Your Own Adventure book. It’s hard to believe, but this year the CYOA brand of stories celebrates 30 years!

The first official CYOA story was released in 1979 under Bantam Books by author R. A. Montgomery. After hundreds of adventures that dominated the children’s literature charts in the 80s and 90s, the brand lapsed into out-of-print status in 2003.

But in 2006, the brand was reborn when Chooseco, LLC relaunched the series with reprints of classic adventures as well as new stories. They have also expanded into new areas with a series aimed at younger kids (Dragonlarks), a multi-book-spanning-choose-your-own-trilogy (The Golden Path), a partnership with the online web adventure Poptropica, adventures on the iPhone, as well as a non-choose-your-own YA novel (Fabulous Terrible).

This is a great series to introduce to your geeklets if thay have not stumbled across them already. And for the adults, don’t be ashamed to pick up one of the newest books and take a trip down memory lane.

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!