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The Do-It-Yourself Adventure Series
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
Complexity Level : Basic (No Game System)
Format : Paperback
Genre : Historical Fiction
Genre : Religious Fiction
Target Age Group : Older Children
Target Age Group : Teenagers
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
These books allow the reader to participate in notable events in Jewish history. The exact format and length varies from book to book, but all are fairly large, high-quality trade paperbacks and include glossaries.
Gamebooks1. The Cardinal's Snuffbox
2. The Melting Pot: An Adventure in New York
3. Escape from the Holocaust
4. The Tenth of Av
5. The Other Side of the Hudson: A Jewish Immigrant Adventure
6. Until the Messiah Comes
7. Jeremiah's Promise: An Adventure in Modern Israel
Written by a single author, the late Rabbi Kenneth Roseman, and spanning 20 years (1982-2002), this series was created to provide young Jewish readers with choose your own style adventures set during important points in Jewish history. Although they are aimed at Jewish readers, they can be appreciated and enjoyed by any readers interested in history.
They are extremely well-researched, often using actual figures and quotes from history. They offer a lot of options and feel very open-ended with a choice per page generally. While the books can be slightly preachy, it is not excessive and is generally balanced; for instance, choosing to leave Judaism does not result in instant endings and can end positively. Overall, the books appear to want to educate, providing glossaries on both historical figures and Jewish terminology. I found the subject matter interesting in general, but the books on American immigration feel a bit bland compared to the other more adventurous topics.
The illustrations are basic, looking more like those found in self-published books, and the overall presentation is quaint. Overall, these are a fun little nugget for history gamebook fans.