Choose Your Own Adventure

Hello Mixed-Up Filers!

Hope you’re all doing great! It’s been about two months since my last post and I can’t believe how much has happened since then. On this site for instance, we have had thirty-four different posts and added thirteen new members. I wish all of our newbies the very best of luck and hope they enjoy writing here as much as I do. Also, hope you all enjoyed the huge welcome-aboard gift-basket like the one they sent me when I joined. In all honesty, I’ve never seen anything so extravagant. Between the chocolates and roses and over $2500 in gift certificates to all of my favorite stores, I didn’t know where to turn first. But, I digress. Let me get back to the reason why I’m here and why they pay me the big bucks, and that’s for my posts.

As you all know, well, the three of you who read my posts anyway, I usually have trouble deciding what it is that I want to write about whenever my turn rolls around. I mean, those months sneak up on you pretty fast. Well, this time, I actually knew what I was going to write about and had it all planned out, but then something happened that changed all of my plans, when I saw in the news that R.A. Montgomery passed away this week. For those of you who don’t know R.A. Montgomery, he was one of the creators of the Choose Your Own Adventure series.

choose

Now, for those of you who don’t know, or who lived under a rock for the 80’s and 90’s, Choose Your Own Adventure is an interactive series of books which allowed you to determine the path of each story by making choices about what you wanted the main character to do.  An example is:

If you want to fly over the volcano, turn to page 83

If you want to emergency land into the lake, turn to page 116

I would dog-ear so many pages, trying to retrace my steps to go back and try the alternate path, that my book collection was called the kennel. I loved the series and anxiously looked forward to each new one that came out. I would run in to the bookstore, scour the shelves and grab each new one and beg my parents to buy them for me. I devoured them. I loved the aspect that each book was in a different setting or even a different time, but still had the familiarity of a Choose Your Own Adventure book, because each book starred ME! That was the hook for me. They came out and said YOU are the star, making it easier for me to place myself in the shoes of the main character. I could be in outer space, back in time, fighting pirates or battling ninjas, each book had a different and exciting hook to offer. During the course of its run, the series expanded to 230 books, selling and sold a total of 250 million copies worldwide.

journey under the sea

As I got older and moved around a lot, I lost some of them, but always had the fondness for the books. When I started to have kids of my own, I went out and got them all again and now have just about a complete collection. I went through them again, and the magic I felt as a kid, was still there. I am happy to say, my daughter now loves them just as much as I did. We also bought a Choose Your Own Adventure movie about the abominable snowman, where we could choose different paths for the characters on the DVD to take, which was a lot of fun.

choose movie

His death hit me because of the role that series had in my childhood.  Like everybody, I had a few books that always stayed with me and can bring me back to that time. That whole Choose Your Own Adventure series will do it for me. I have other books that I will name as my favorites, but as a series, there was nothing better to me than Choose Your Own Adventure. Even now, I’ll occasionally pick one up and start reading again and love hearing my daughter read. I’m transported back immediately to how I felt in that bookstore when I would see a new copy on the shelf.  And as for the rest of you, if you haven’t ever read a Choose Your Own Adventure book, what are you waiting for?mystery of the maya

R.I.P. R. A. Montgomery and thank you for so many fond memories through my childhood.

Now, you get to choose what you’d like to do!

If you would like to leave a comment, please scroll below.

If you’d like to leave without leaving a comment, then you have suffered a gruesome, horrifying fate and will have to start the story over.

maya screenshot

Until next time!

Jonathan

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JROSEN
Jonathan Rosen is a transplanted New Yorker, who now lives with his family in sunny, South Florida. He spends his “free” time chauffeuring around his three kids. Some of Jonathan’s fondest childhood memories are of discovering a really good book to dive into, in particular the Choose Your Own Adventure Series, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Jonathan is proud to be of Mexican-American descent, although neither country has been really willing to accept responsibility. He is the author of Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies, which is out now, and its sequel, From Sunset Till Sunrise. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, FromtheMixedUpFiles.Com, SpookyMiddleGrade.com, and his own website, WWW.HouseofRosen.com
11 Comments
  1. . . . in fact I took your advice and I started writing a Choose Your Own Adventure: The working title is: A Work in Progress. Yesterday I finished all the page numbers. Today I am writing the text for the Jacket Flap. Tomorrow I will start the Acknowledgements pages for all the people will be helping me write this book. You will also be included. I just need to get your Zip Code so I can verify you really are who you say you are. You can never be too careful these days. Last month a guy offered me ten dollars if I would give him a ride to the bank. Hey, I’m not fallen for that scam, so I offered him I’d do it for five bucks but not a penny more. He did give me a five dollar tip when we got to the bank and I took off. Now I’m wondering, if I should have waited for him so I could have told him thank you for the tip. Oh well, maybe when I finish my book this weekend, I’ll go to the bank. I’m sure they will give me his address so I can hunt him down. I’ll have to walk to the bank of course, my car was stolen last night. I saw the guy who did it but I didn’t have my shoes on so by the time I got my shoes and socks on, the guy had hooked it up to a wrecker truck and hauled it away. He did leave a nice note. I haven’t had time to read it yet, I’m sure he just borrowed my car and it said when he’s gonna bring it back. I just hope it’s before I have to walk to the bank. It’s a long way to the bank and I’d prefer not having to walk. One way I don’t mind but it’s the walk back that gets me. Everything is backwards and sometimes I get lost. My only map is in the glove compartment of my car so maybe I will wait till he brings my car back to go to the bank. Huh? Now I forgot why I’m going to the bank. Oh well, that’s okay. Now I don’t have to worry about when he brings my car back. I just hope he washes and gasses it up before he returns it. Just that alone will be worth the wait, and then I will have my map back for the next time I have to walk to the bank.

  2. I love a good series. The World Series always catches my attention. I just wish I didn’t have to wait a whole year for the next one. Why can’t they play faster or something or do you think it’s the agents that tell them,”Hey slow down, you don’t want to flood the market. Too much of a good thing is bad unless your Mickey mantle or Stephen King.

  3. I thought it was a fad, just seemed like a big time-sink. Besides, living under that rock (it was actually a very nice 2-bedroom/1bath rock) wasn’t so bad, it was always cool and I had cable.

  4. Hi Jonathan,
    What you wrote earlier today -(3rd paragraph down) struck a chord in me.

    I actually have been living under a rock for the 80’s and 90’s. Can you tell me what this whole blogging thing is about.

    I was merely checking my bank balance on my TRS-80 when this odd shaped window looking thing popped up on my screen.
    donnie

    • It’s a passing fad. I wouldn’t pay much attention to it.

  5. I’ve always wondered about that series, so it’s good to get your take on it.

    • The series is so much fun! Go and read. Now! I’ll wait…

  6. Jonathan, your enthusiasm for the subject matter made this a great piece. (I haven’t talked to the other two people, but I’m sure they feel the same way!

    • I heard from one other. 66% of my audience reached, I’m sitting pretty right now.

  7. Choose Your Own Adventure is my go-to answer when kids ask me if any books have been written in second person. They were one of a kind!

    • I always tell kids the same thing. LOVE these books!