I was in Aldi last week, doing my level best to avoid looking in the ‘specials’ aisle, when I saw a stack of Choose Your Own Adventure books for $5 each.
During my early teens I absolutely loved these books. As I explained to my eight year old, this is what we meant by ‘interactive entertainment’ in my day. Each story has multiple narrative roads that you can choose to go down, leading to different endings.
The official CYOA website has a page outlining the history of the genre from the humble beginnings in the late 1970’s to when by 1999 ‘Over 250 million books were printed in 38 languages.’
You can still catch CYOA at Booktopia or Dymocks but as some of the originals have dated somewhat, you might find the more recently published books a better option for junior readers.
Big W and Boomerang Books stock a range of You Choose … books written by Melbourne’s George Ivanoff and Capstone also produce interactive novels based on ancient mythology or historical events.
If you’re a Neil Patrick Harris fan, you might get a kick out of his Choose Your Own Autobiography. Yes, his life is in your hands:-)