04 May 2006

If you want to have a good read, turn to page 2.

Word Nerd was recently in a bookstore (ok, in the kid's section of the bookstore) and she saw something that made her very happy. Not a new Harry Potter. Not the release of Garth Nix's "Sir Thursday."

No.

Somebody had the brilliant idea to re-release the Choose Your Own Adventure books.

When Word Nerd was a kid, these were all the rage. In fact, Word Nerd mostly fondly remembers writing her own C.Y.O.A. book as a class assignment in third grade. (Mostly fondly is not all fondly because there were some struggles as she recalls to come up with enough endings.)

Unfamiliar with C.Y.O.A books? They are a rare form of book told in 2nd person. You, as the reader, make decisions throughout the book (go through the revolving door or the trapdoor by the fireplace). The decision corresponds to a specific page number, so you flip there and find out what happens.

Sometimes your decisions are good. Sometimes, well, not so good.

Bottom line, these books provided plenty of entertainment for Word Nerd as a young reader to figure out how to make the right series of choices that would result in a good ending. It's nice to see that another generation will get to experience these books as well.

4 comments:

Prime Looper said...

Sweet! I was just thinking about these the other day. My daughter will be 7 in a few weeks and I was considering getting a few of these for her. I remember my decisions in these books. I died all the time.

Kelly Parra said...

I loved these when I was kid!! So cool they brought them back. Not sure the kids will go for the old covers, though. ;D

Denise said...

Yes, another one who adored these books. I have to admit, I was a cheater. I looked at what choice I felt was right at first... then if something mortally tragic happened, it was back to where my finger held the last safe move. Basically, they stressed me out

Nick Sagan said...

Hey! I'd almost forgotten about CYOA books. I used to love these, though they were indeed deeply stressful. It seemed like the number of "bad endings" outnumbered the "reasonably good endings" by at least 4:1. And there was only one "great ending" to find. I remember getting turned into a mouse by a witch, dying of thirst, catching an alien plague, etc. Typically well-written, these books, often dark, and always interesting.

And I remember how the writers would have some fun by including a page or two that couldn't be reached from any other page. It would start off detailing some fabulous encounter, and then "pop the bubble" by saying it wasn't real. Then the writer would scold you for flipping through the book linearly instead of following the adventure paths. Funny stuff.

Thanks for reminding me about these, Bethany--I'll be sure to check out the rerelease.