This #FlashBookFriday edition is inspired
My family are big readers like me. I remember petty squabbles ensuing among adults because one cousin/sibling failed to return a borrowed tome. Or how one person would refuse to lend out any more of his/her books because the borrowers turned into takers or his/her precious book got damaged (I'm guilty of the latter). The elders' love for reading thankfully got transferred to the children and while I was busy with Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley books, my dorkier cousin was into CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURES.
Choose Your Own Adventure (Bantam Books) is a series of children's gamebooks where each story is written from a second-person point of view, with the reader assuming the role of the protagonist and making choices that determine the main character's actions and the plot's outcome.
Each gamebook was about 100-150 pages or so but don't be fooled by it's "shortness". It's easy to spend hours reading the same story 100 different ways without getting the exact story you want to. The books doesn't read like a normal forward moving novel. At the end of each chapter, you're given choices and depending on what you choose, you either go back or skip ahead. It's this flash-forward motion that makes reading these books fun and engrossing. I remember spending a week with Journey Under The Sea and recall "dying" so many times, I gave up trying to solve it! So I read it like a traditional novel out of sheer frustration. It didn't make sense of course, but in my head that was my revenge for not letting me win just one frickin' time!
In restrospect, I now appreciate the life lessons CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE was trying to impart:
- Do your best to choose wisely
- There are different ways to get to the same destination
- There are no short-cuts if you want the best results
- It's easy to die
But of course, I wasn't aware of these back then. All I wanted was to read, have an adventure, and win. I wasn't aware that the books were a great exercise in honing decision making skills, I wish I spent more time with it because I could've used the training. Ha!
Anyway, I'm not sure if they're still reprinting CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE books. If you happen to find one, I suggest you grab one and play it with your kids, sibling, nephew/neice, etc. Hopefully they'll enjoy it enough that it'll get them off their phones or tablets and/or get them into the habit of reading.