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Gareth Stevens Publishing -- United States
Grey Castle Press -- United States
Lippincott -- United States
Troll -- United States
Complexity Level : Basic (No Game System)
Format : Hardback
Format : Paperback
Genre : Adventure
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Genre : Fantasy
Genre : Historical Fiction
Genre : Horror
Genre : Mystery
Genre : Science Fiction
Genre : Sports Fiction
Genre : Western
Product Family : Choose Your Own Adventure
Target Age Group : Older Children
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
1000 Gefahren (German)
Adobenchaa Bukkusu [アドベンチャーブックス] (Japanese)
Aukeratu zeure abentura (Basque)
Boken med…olika slut (Swedish)
Choisis ta propre aventure (French)
Choisis ton aventure (French)
Choose Your Own Adventure (Farsi)
Du er hovedpersonen (Danish)
Du und dein Abenteuer (German)
Elige tu propia aventura (1981) (Spanish)
Elige tu propia aventura (1983-1998, Argentina) (Spanish)
Elige tu propia aventura (1983-1998, Spain) (Spanish)
Escolha sua aventura (Portuguese)
Escolhe a tua própria aventura (Portuguese)
Is kahani ke hiro ap hain (Urdu)
Izberi svoeto priklyuchenie! [Избери своето приключение!] (Bulgarian)
Kies je eigen avontuur (Dutch)
Kies jou eie avontuur (Afrikaans)
Kimi nara dou suru? [きみならどうする?] (Japanese)
Kraj po vaša želba (Macedonian)
Macera tüneli dizisi (Turkish)
Odaberi svoju pustolovinu (Serbo-Croatian)
Pilih sendiri pengembaraan anda (Malay)
Pilih sendiri petualanganmu (Indonesian)
Scegli la tua avventura (Italian)
Tria la teva aventura (Catalan)
Valitse oma seikkailusi (Finnish)
Vibery sebe priklyucheniye [Выбери себе приключение] (Russian)
Vyber si vlastné dobrodružstvo (Slovakian)
Vyber si vlastní dobrodružství (Czech)
Zìwǒ Lìxiǎn Cóngshū [自我歷險叢書] (Chinese)
Þitt eigið ævintýri (Icelandic)
With close to two hundred titles, Choose Your Own Adventure is by far the longest-running gamebook series. It grew out of Edward Packard's Adventures of You Series, with its first manifestation being Lippincott's hardback release of Deadwood City and The Third Planet from Altair which, while not yet officially part of a series, featured the phrase "Choose Your Own Adventure" on the covers. However, it was when Bantam acquired the rights to release the books in paperback starting in 1979 that the series' full potential was realized, and the books almost single-handedly started the American gamebook boom of the eighties. They made less of an impression in England, where The Third Planet from Altair was retitled Exploration Infinity and included in the single-volume Plot-It-Yourself Adventures in Space series and Deadwood City was released as a stand-alone hardback and paperback, but the majority of titles were available only as imports.
The books almost entirely avoid gimmickry, so there’s never any coin-flipping or dice-rolling to confuse the flow of reading and making choices. The books cover an extremely broad array of subject matter, but there is some continuity between certain books in the series. Some stories follow straight on from each other, while others feature recurring characters (like the adventurous Dr. Nera Vivaldi) or themes (as in a long sequence of titles revolving around martial arts).
There were several major spin-offs from the series. The first was Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers, which simply takes the format and tailors it for a younger audience. Taking this idea to a further extreme inspired the Your First Adventure series and the Choose Your Own Adventure – Walt Disney books. Going the other way and making the books longer led to Choose Your Own Adventure Super Adventure, while an experiment in more solid story arcs and recurring characters led to Choose Your Own Adventure – Passport and Choose Your Own Adventure – Space Hawks. An effort to ride the success of R. L. Stine's Goosebumps books inspired Choose Your Own Nightmare, and lucrative license agreements made possible Choose Your Own Adventure – The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and Choose Your Own Star Wars Adventure, the last series of books to bear the Choose Your Own Adventure name until the label was revived almost a decade later for the Choose Your Own Adventure Reissues and Interactive Movies.
The books in the series have been released in a variety of forms. The most common are Bantam's editions, most of which are the standard size for small paperbacks, though the last nine titles in the series were released in a larger format more reminiscent of the Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers books. In addition to the previously mentioned Lippincott hardbacks, various titles can be found in large print hardback format thanks to the efforts of Grey Castle Press and Gareth Stevens Publishing. The books are listed below in the order of their paperback publication, as this is the sequence by which they are numbered; however, in terms of chronological release, book eight came first, then book seven, then the rest.
Choose Your Own Adventure / Weetabix Ad #1
from Eagle comic, June 23, 1984. Thanks to Ed Jolley for the scan.
Choose Your Own Adventure / Weetabix Ad #2
from Eagle comic, June 29, 1985. Thanks to Ed Jolley for the scan.
Choose Your Own Adventure Atari Contest
Advertisement from the promotional teacher's copy of Inside UFO 54-40.
Choose Your Own Adventure - The Abominable Snowman: Differences
This article compares the original and revised editions of The Abominable Snowman
Evolution of Sugarcane Island
This article compares the original and revised editions of Sugarcane Island.
I remember it well, circa 1983 our Primary School Librarian Ms. Eggers would read my class a CYOA book each Tuesday afternoon. Whenever there was a decision to be made we'd have a show of hands, and democracy ruled. I loved it and was hooked, wanted to get discover more of these books for myself.
So with the money I received for my 10th birthday I went out and bought the brand new Trouble on Planet Earth.
For most of the rest of the 80s I always scanned the newsagent stands for the new CYOA book.
28 years after the first CYOA I now have over 100.
I first encountered these books in my school library in 1981 or shortly therafter. I remember reading one book that asked me to choose from one of a couple identical doors and when I turned to whichever page suddenly I was dead. I had lost the page I came from and in frustration didn't bother with these books again until just recently. Thankfully there were other game books out there that I found and liked and now that I've come back to this series I've found some books that have very much impressed me.
I first got into the CYOA books when I was in elementary school, and they were an awesome part of my childhood. For some strange reason, though, the two libraries I visit don't have a section with all the CYOA books; instead, they're grouped in small "cells" in each library's children's books section.
Making Choices Books For Kids is what got me hooked. I got that from my Aunt.
Looking for others, and failing, I wrote my Roller Coaster Adventure, never to be published. I even wrote others, which ended up trashed. To this day I regret it; so I'd remember how I started.
The first Choose Your Own Adventure I ever found was at the flea market: Dinosaur Island. Of course Making Choices Books were all I was looking for at the time.
The second I also remember: Cave of Time.
From there I've kept collecting them.
I'm hoping to write and publish my own CYOA type books soon; the first will be out this year, or 2017.
These books, which I mostly read in the early and mid 1990s, are what got me initally interested in gamebooks in general.
Now that I'm much older, I look back on them with a fond nostalgia. All the times I'd get them out from the library, mapping out every possible route and ending.
Ahhh... Choose Your Own Adventure. The series that started it all (for the most part).
This was the series that got me into interactive storybooks quite by accident back in the mid-nineties when I was about six years old. I was going to kindergarten at the time, and I checked out a book that was hardcover but which had a plain white dust jacket (presumably to help it survive better in a library). It was called Your Code Name is Jonah -- I checked it out because I liked the story of Jonah and the whale... it turned out that it was actually the sixth CYOA book (about spies and KGB agents). It was dated at the time, but I LOVED it... I even got a happy ending on my first read! Ahhh, the nostalgia.
Speaking of nostalgia, the classic series has been reissued. Go to www.cyoa.com for more information. I haven't personally seen any of the reissue titles yet, but I'm glad that a new generation will be able to enjoy these. Most of the reissued books are written by R. A. Montgomery, who is doing the reissuing. They have a new order, unfortunately, and some of the titles I'd like to see aren't in there, but it's a good start. Also, did you know that two of the authors from this series (R. A. Montgomery and Shannon Gilligan) are married? I have no idea whether they married because of Choose Your Own Adventure, or if romance came first... but it was fun visiting that website!
I first encountered the series in my school library during elementary school. I had read the series for younger readers before and wanted to know what the "big kid" series was like. The first title that I read, I believe, was Spy for George Washington. I've been hooked ever since.
One interesting thing to note is that, despite the fact that the books each have varied stories, several characters and themes reoccur throughout the series. There's Gilliam Prem (The Mystery of Chimney Rock and Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?), Ricardo and Lisa (House of Danger and The Horror of High Ridge), and, of course, Dr. Vivaldi (Hyperspace, The Third Planet from Altair, and Underground Kingdom, just to name a few). Then there's the concept of a cave which allows whoever enters it to travel through time, which appears multiple times in the series (The Cave of Time, The First Olympics, and more), and even once in the series for younger readers (A Day with the Dinosaurs).
--Waluigi Freak 99
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