Thursday, September 27, 2007

Choose Your Own Adventure

I can't believe it. My eight-year-old daughter is done with the first four Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer (I first wrote about her reading habits here). I still wonder if she's scanning instead of really reading, but my wife told me she's interrogated her about the books and her comprehension seems all right. We don't have the fifth book in the Artemis Fowl series, but we're borrowing it from one of her cousins this weekend. At this rate, she'll be done in a couple of weeks, maybe sooner. (She likes Harry Potter better than Artemis Fowl, by the way, but that's no surprise).

I'm not complaining, but she's bugging me for something new to read now. I handed her my old Narnian Chronicles boxed set by C.S. Lewis and for some reason she can't relate to The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. She lost interest somewhere before page 70. I asked her why and she just shrugged her shoulders and asked me if she could just re-read any of the Harry Potter books. I offered The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien but she shook her head. So I consented to Harry Potter again since I also know the pleasures of re-reading favorite books, but I wanted to give her something new to read. There were nice suggestions by others in that previous post, but I want to save those other books for the future. I want to give her something lighter for the interim.

So I went to the shelves, scanned my old books, and decided to try her out with these: the Choose Your Own Adventure Books. A blast from my past. They were really popular when I was growing up, and though I stopped reading them sometime in the mid-80's, I understand the publisher continued churning them out till the late 90's, and that now another company is republishing them.

I tried her out with one book first, The Reality Machine, just to see if she would get into it. Well...success! Like any real reader she lost herself in the book. Just as with the Harry Potter and the Artemis Fowl books, she was engrossed enough not to pay attention to anything around her. I called out her name while she was reading and she acted like she didn't hear me (for all I know, she really didn't). She did mutter something like "this is a funny book, you have to flip through it forward and back a lot", but it didn't take her long to get the hang of it. Now she's asking for more. I'll try her out next with the book pictured above, The Cave Of Time, the very first Choose Your Own Adventure book. Heck, I'll give her the first five.

As a teenager I once tried to write my own Choose Your Own Adventure book, and realized that it's harder than it looks. Or maybe there was a template or formula to it, some kind of flow-chart to follow, because I got lost in all the options and never did complete it. But I'm certainly glad I've got something to keep my daughter reading again for a while.


Anonymous sharmaine said...

i think i actually read this one

12:53 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Hey! That's good to hear! :)

1:08 PM  
Anonymous sharmaine said...

Was so obsessed with it I sometimes felt like I died when I chose the death ending. Funny. Brought back nice childhood memories. I think we may still have old copies at home.

4:13 PM  
Blogger skinnyblackcladdink said...

damn i miss choose your own adventure. if i ever have kids, as soon as they're old enough to read, i'm locking them in a room with nothing but these TV, no Xbox or whatever they have out by that time, no internets...

when they're done, then i'll let them out.

Edward Packard rocks!

12:17 PM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Hehe. Yeah! I think he and R.A. Montgomery wrote more than 70% of the titles! If and when the time comes, I hope your kids have a good time reading CYOA!

12:22 PM  

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