My love of reading STARTED in 5th grade with the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books. Specifically, it was Book #1: The Cave of Time. The layout of the book didn’t overwhelm me… most pages had 1/4 to 1/2 a page of text, followed by a decision to be made at the bottom of the page. With The Cave of Time, you had to choose to enter the cave or walk away. If you chose to enter, the text would direct you to turn to a specific page… if you ignored the cave, another page number would be specified.
The story would unfold as you made choice after choice, ultimately leading to a happy ending or a not-so-happy-ending. With 40 endings, The Cave of Time offered plenty of excitement and encouragement to keep reading, and I found myself reading it over and over again, looking for a branch in my path to take me to an alternate ending. My parents were overjoyed… so much so, that they purchased me the next five books. As each book arrived, I would tear through them. I was hooked.
The CYOA series continued for many years, but my enjoyment of reading took me in all sorts of directions and I moved on from the series, although I’ve still got my original six books (see image above). Now, almost 40 years later, both my boys (ages 10 and 7) have discovered the CYOA books. My 10 year old cannot stop reading them, and my 7 year old is starting to pick them up to see what big brother finds so interesting.
Here’s the thing: the CYOA books are still in print! There are over 40 books available in the original CYOA series, and the ChooseCo.com website has other series for a range of ages. The website is EXTREMELY useful with its ability to filter by reading level. (Let your child’s library know you can get all 47 CYOA books for $315.00!) Currently, Journey Under the Sea is the most popular (and it was the second CYOA book I ever read), but I still have fond memories of the spookiness of The Mystery of Chimney Rock. I also just found out recently that Space and Beyond (#4) has the most endings of all CYOA books: 44!
I am so pleased to know that the CYOA series is alive and well. These books MADE me a reader. I cannot recommend them enough, whether you have a reluctant or voracious reader under your roof. Hunt them down, parents… your kids will love them.
Oh, and ChooseCo is having a contest! Right now, you can register here for a chance to win a Dad Pack. Tucked in the box are:
- two CYOA wristbands
- one Choose Your Own Adventure hat
- one Out of Print WAR WITH THE EVIL POWER MASTER t-shirt
- 6-book boxed set containing the first six books in the Classics series
The contest is limited to U.S. applicants only, and no purchase necessary. Deadline to enter is April 1, 2018 at 11:59pm Pacific.
I’d like to thank ChooseCo for offering up the Dad Pack as a prize, but I’d also just like to thank them for keeping these valuable books in print. Good luck!