5 Choose Your Own Adventure Books You Never Knew Existed

by |March 19, 2014

What child’s bookshelf isn’t complete without a collection of Choose Your Own Adventure Books? While the rules could always be bent (finger still on the page means you haven’t chosen yet), they remain one of the best ways to get young kids into books.

But as the craze wore on and more and more titles began to flood the shelves, authors began to take some strange turns with the adventures. Here are some of our favourites.

the-brilliant-dr-woganThe Brilliant Dr. Wogan

by R. A. Montgomery

It takes a hell of a lot of imagination to create a choose your own adventure book. With twists and turns you never see coming, characters that come and go, villains that will take your breath away. One wonders who decided to call the most brilliant mind in the world Dr. Wogan. It’s an odd decision.

You need to save Dr. Diana Wogan, presumably from the ghost of Guy Fawkes by the look of the cover. She has created a machine that will neutralise radiation, putting an end to nuclear war and microwaves until the end of time. You need to save Wogan. Save Wogan!

Who is the shadowy figure? Is he a government official? Is he a terrorist? Is he the CEO of a profitable microwavable pizza company? With 20 possible endings, I’m sure all these questions will be revealed. Answered, no. But revealed, yes.

Want to save Dr. Wogan from the Microwave Lobby? Click here

Track Star!

by R. A. Montgomery

Don’t let that optimistic exclamation mark fool you, Track Star! is a searing tale of right and wrong. This book was actually endorsed by the World Anti-Doping Agency when it was published, so it’s fair to say you probably shouldn’t take that flu jab your coach wants you to take on page 114.

With 12 possible endings, I’m going to go out on a limb and say taking steroids may land you in hot water. Just my thoughts.

Track Star! is another example of the power of the Choose Your Own Adventure series in teaching kids the right thing to do. I had a friend who would always choose to keep the suitcase of money he found, flick to page 213, and be immediately arrested by the police. I won’t say what he’s doing now, but rest assured, he chose his own adventure. He chose his own adventure.

I’m not sure if one of the adventures ends with you in tears on Oprah ten years after retiring, but it’s a twist I like.

Want to make a tearful confession on Oprah? Click here

The Island of Time

by R. A. Montgomery

The Island of Time.

It doesn’t really make the heart leap out of the chest does it? Perhaps The Island of Thyme would have been worse I suppose, although much better with fish.

You go on a boat. You hit a storm. You go back in time. To The Island of Time. Monty really phoned this one in didn’t he?

I’m guessing Aztecs, sacrifice, all that. The CYOA series loved the Aztecs. The floating shadowy figure also makes another appearance, looking mysteriously like Jafar from Aladdin.

In Choose Your Own Adventure World, as in life, never trust anyone with a goatee.

Want to defeat The Evil Manscaper? Click here

Prisoner of the Ant People

by R. A. Montgomery

From the outset you’ll notice that the graphics department at CYOA didn’t liaise with the publishers all that much. Granted I’m an amateur zoologist, but I’m pretty sure the cover of Prisoner of the Ant People just shows giant ants, along with a shadowy figure.

Where are these Ant People? Do they have their own planet or is there some sort of Planet of the Apes scenario and Earth is actually Ant Planet now? Have we been breeding with the ants to make Ant People? I have my questions about how that works logistically.

Prisoner of the Ant People contains 28 possible endings, which is about as many as the series usually gives you. With 28 endings, I’m confident that one of your adventures could land you as King of the Ant People. I’m extremely okay with that. They’re great workers, and a stable agrarian based economy is essential for both Homo sapiens and Hymenoptera to live in perfect harmony.

Want to become King of the Ant People? Click here

A Girl Walks into a Bar

by Helena S. Paige

I know what you’re thinking. Why all this Choose Your Own Adventure love? Has something happened in the CYOA universe?

Yes, my friends. Behold. We now have Choose Your Own Adventure Erotica!

When your friend cancels on your girls’ night out at the last moment, you suddenly find yourself all dressed up and alone at an exclusive bar. What do you do now?

Will you spend the evening drinking tequila with a rock star? Or perhaps the suave and charming millionaire businessman is more your style? But the angelic young barman with a body made for sin has also caught your eye. . .

Then there’s the bodyguard who has the keys to his boss’s sports car and is offering you a ride. . .

Maybe you want to head home instead – to your sexy new neighbour. Whichever way you decide to go, each twist and turn you make will lead to an unforgettable encounter. Can you choose the ultimate sensual experience? The power is entirely yours…

Choose Your Own Erotic Adventure with A Girl Walks into a Bar

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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