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Item - You See the Future

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Series: Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers — no. 44
Author: Goodman, Deborah Lerme
Illustrators: Schmidt, William (Bill) (cover)
Morrill, Leslie (interior)
Date: February, 1988
ISBN: 0553155652 / 9780553155655
Length: 51 pages
Number of Endings: 9
User Summary: After getting hit in the head with a softball, you find that you can see into the future.
Demian's Thoughts:

While this book is fairly average, at least it manages to have both a bank robbery and an alien encounter in it for variety.

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

Most of Deborah Lerme Goodman's books for the original Choose Your Own Adventure series were fantasy or mythology, so it makes sense that You See the Future, her single contribution to the Bantam Skylark spinoff, runs in a similar vein. You are at bat in a softball game one day when a pitch strikes you in the head. As you regain consciousness you watch Naomi, your best friend and teammate, come to bat and hit a home run, but a moment later you awaken for real, surrounded by bystanders concerned about your head injury. Soon after, Naomi hits a home run as you foresaw. You take a seat on the bench to get your head straight...until a vision fills your mind of a bank robbery in progress on Main Street. Now you feel sure the blow to your head gave you the power to see the future, but what will you do with it?

Are you confident the robbery will occur? If you shake off the premonition and refocus on the game, another frightening scene invades your thoughts: your two-year-old neighbor Johnny Myron falling into a pond. You won't risk ignoring this vision, but as you hop on your bike, you struggle to recall whether it was Shealy Pond or Maynard Pond you saw. If you pick the right one, you arrive in time to rescue Johnny, and his grateful dad believes your claim about seeing the future. Would you like to appear on television at the station where his wife works, and tell the world your story? Depending what you choose next, you might go home to stop your younger brother Keith from wrecking your school project, or take an unexpected fall and hit your head, losing your powers before you get on television. If you go to the wrong pond, Johnny ends up fine anyway, but you experience a new vision: an alien spacecraft landing in town. Should you tell your parents or Naomi and hope they believe you, or sneak out and witness first contact by yourself? The aliens can be dangerous; poor choices won't lead to a happy ending here.

Maybe you'll dial the police as soon as you envision the bank robbery. They don't buy your story, but you can hurry to the station in person so they know it isn't a prank call, or run to the bank before the masked thief strikes. You can enter ahead of him to warn the staff and customers, but this will jeopardize your life. You could hide outside instead and sabotage the getaway car; that might be your ticket to thwarting the robbery without getting anyone killed. Head for the police station rather than the bank and you'll encounter the same skepticism you did on the phone. By now officers have heard reports of the robbery as it's happening and are in a grim panic, but can you get one of them to listen after you see a vision of the robbers going to an abandoned warehouse on Kent Street? You could head there alone...but your odds of success are better if you can convince a cop.

I like the premise, but You See the Future is too silly and implausible. We never learn why a head injury gave you supernatural powers, or why you almost exclusively foresee local events directly connected to your life. The ending where you hit your head and lose your powers is straight out of a low-budget television situation comedy, and doesn't help the book's credibility. Regardless, I'll find amusement rereading You See the Future on many occasions. Deborah Lerme Goodman gave the concept a decent go even if it doesn't quite work out.

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