Monday, April 26, 2010

Choose Your Own Adventure Series

When I was in fourth and fifth grade (1985ish), I discovered a series of books called "Choose Your Own Adventure." These books were amazing because you usually only read the first two or three pages, and then you were forced to make a choice that pertained to the plot. It was awesome to see how the plot unfolded based on my choices. There were hundreds of these books written and published between 1979 and 1998. Edward Packard is one of the authors that wrote over 50 different Choose Your Own Adventure books.

The thing that I liked the most about these books was that I got to choose the actions of the characters, and if I didn't like how it ended, I could go back and make a different choice. There were always between 20-30 different possible endings in each book, and some were good, and some were bad.

I brought in a few of the duplicates that I had from my childhood into my classroom. The books have been sitting all year without anyone reading them. So, we were at track out week and I had just finished reading Big Nate, and I didn't want to start a new book that I wouldn't be able to finish in a week. So, I decided to grab a book from the Choose Your Own Adventure basket. My students weren't sure what to make of the choice, but once I started to read it and they were able to choose where the character went next, they were hooked!

I absolutely LOVE exposing my students to new genres and authors. I soon found out that there are Choose Your Own Adventure books that were published between 2005 and 2010! One of my students went to the local library and brought in a few copies of the newer versions. While they have the same concept, I do not like the newer ones. Mainly because there are fewer choices and more reading. One of the books that I read (that she had brought in) was called Track Star. This book started off with me reading... and reading... and reading... and then there was finally a choice for the kids to make (after like five pages of reading). We made the choice and I read... and read... and read... and then the end happened. From one choice! The same thing happened when I read Terror on the Titanic.

So... my suggestion would be to check out or eBay to see if you can find some of the older versions of these books (if you're interested). There's also a series similar to this by Goosebumps called "Reader Beware, You Choose the Scare." My kids like those too because they're a little on the creepy side.

Hoppy Reading!!
Mrs. Walker

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