I recently finished reading a picture book titled Fairy Tale Adventure. And as I turned the last page, I recalled a few other books I had read and heard of in the past that fit the concept. Which is why and how I went looking for them; and ended up with this list of 6 wonderful make your own adventure books!! Like some of my other book listicles, the books range from picture books for the very young to books for adults. So you have fairy tales, mysteries, romances, et al.
Basically, the concept of these books is simple. At regular intervals in the story, the reader is asked to make a choice; and the story proceeds based on the same. Sometimes, the reader is asked to go to a certain page or chapter of the book. At other times, it might be like Monopoly, where they return to Go. But whatever it is, the end result is always fun. And the possibilities are endless.
To put it another way, these books are actually many stories within their pages, in more ways than the obvious.
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So, here is the list I mentioned earlier…what I feel are
6 Wonderful Make Your Own Adventure Books & Series
Fairy Tale Adventure
Title: Let’s Tell a Story! Fairy Tale Adventure
Author: Lily Murray
Illustrator: Wesley Robins
Length: 24 pages
Genre: Children’s Fiction/Fairy Tales (5 – 7 years)
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions (March 2, 2021)
Source: e-ARC from NetGalley and the publishers
Imagine if you could have an adventure in a fairy tale world. What if you could have MILLIONS of them? With this story-building book, you can tell your own fairy tale-inspired adventures, over and over again. Just read the question and choose from the vibrant pictures on the page to create a new story.
I enjoyed this quick and fun read, well, choice-making process as I journeyed through the pages of very many fairy tales each time I went from Once Upon to The End. You start off by picking who you want to be, pick out costumes and companions, and then set out to seek adventures, defeat villains, and celebrate. And you do it all over again, each time a little bit differently!!
And I believe you can sneak in quick math lessons if you are reading to your little adventurer. Mind-boggling math about permutations and combinations, of course, but you could certainly attempt it if you wish!!
Definitely a book that will ignite imaginations and curiosity – for both story telling and at the wonder that is math! A suggestion would be to have the kids expand upon each (or some of these) and maybe help them write those stories down! It will also help in both reading and writing skills in a fun way. They could also illustrate it using the help of already existing illustrations in this beautiful book.
Get It Here
Choose Your Destiny Chapter Book (Starwars)
Title: Star Wars: Choose Your Destiny (Book 1): A Han & Chewie Adventure
Author: Cavan Scott
Illustrator: Elsa Charretier
Length: 144 pages
Genre: Children’s Fiction/Action & Adventure Sci-Fi Books (6 – 8 years)
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press; Media tie-in edition (April 17, 2018)
Source: My e-copy
In a story that the reader controls, Han and Chewie take on a special job for Jabba the Hut that takes them across the galaxy.
This book is part of a series of Choose Your Own Destiny: Star Wars. Each of the book follows different characters, like with Han and Chewie in this one, on adventures. Readers will, as with this format, help decide what path they take on their journeys; and thus have control over their destinies!
I love how these books can appeal to Star Wars and/or sci-fi fans, as well as those seeking cool adventures in any form. While I had not considered myself a Star Wars, this past year has changed me. I am still not one of those super fans who learn to speak Klingon; but I binge watched Mandalorian and followed that up with watching all the Star Wars movies. And now I wait for the next thing eagerly. This definitely means I am loving these books, a lot!!
Get It Here
The Titanic (part of the You Choose: History series)
Title: The Titanic
Author: Bob Temple
Length: 112 pages
Genre: Children’s History/Interactive History (8 – 11 years)
Publisher: Capstone Press(first published September 1st 2007)
Source: Borrowed from the Internet Archive
The You Choose: History series takes people and events from history and presents them in an interactive format to children. Readers make choices leading to different outcomes; and they are based on historic reality.
YOU are aboard the Titanic, the world’s largest ocean liner. The ship is sinking, and the ocean water is freezing. Will you survive?
History always intrigues me; and historical fiction certainly has been one of my favorite fictional genres for a long while now. This book is part of a series – You Choose: History. Each book here is based on historical events and is a truly unique way to learn and understand the events. Backmatter includes an overview of the event, a timeline, discussion questions, reading resources, and more (may vary with each book a little).
I read a couple of the books in the series so far, and now look forward to reading more of them (and there are so so many!!) The series includes everything from Ancient Civilizations to Modern Space history. And the age range varies based on the book/subject itself; so it does cover a very broad range overall. I know I learned a lot from reading these as an adult, so I am sure you will too.
Highly recommend as a unique way to learn history, and to learn how our choices impact the outcomes.
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The Museum of Mysteries (part of Math Quest series)
Title: The Museum of Mysteries
Author: David Glover
Illustrator: Tim Hutchinson
Length: 48 pages
Genre: Children’s (7 – 11 years)
Publisher: QEB Publishing(January 7th 2011)
Source: My personal copy
Discover an exhilarating world of learning by solving a series of mathematical problems. Finding the answers will enable readers to advance through an exciting adventure story.
Math and mysteries and making choices. Works for me – very well too! I bought this book along with another in the series where you solve puzzles to move forward in your story (as you make choices). They are both great reads and kids are sure to have fun solving problems (I know mine did!)
This is more to do with what readers will think the answer to a problem is; and making their choice based on that rather than making choices about would you do/be this or that in the other books here. You will reach ‘The End’ the moment you solve all the problems correctly. Don’t worry, the narrative lets you know if you make a mistake, lets you try again, and helps you along the way.
Backmatter includes a note to parents and teachers, a math word glossary, and more.
Fun, learning, solving mysteries in museums, developing math skills: all of this make this book a must-add to your library.
Get It Here
Lost in Austen
Title: Lost in Austen
Author: Emma Campbell Webster
Illustrator: Amanda Sandland
Length: 345 pages
Genre: Teen & Young Adult Classic Literature/Interactive Stories (13+)
Publisher: Riverhead Books (August 7th 2007)
Source: My ecopy
Bringing together Jane Austen’s most beloved characters and storylines-a clever, playful, interactive, and highly entertaining approach to the wildly popular novels in which you, the reader, decide the outcome.
My Initial Thoughts
I am still reading this one but from what I have read so far, it is a fun read. You earn points as you go along, explore the many ‘what ifs’ across Austen’s novels, with focus on Pride and Prejudice. And great for those Austen-fans who most likely spent time wondering why the characters made a specific choice instead of another. Here the reader gets to choose (duh, you say, of course!); anyway, what I am trying to say is imagine if ….
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Romeo and/or Juliet (part of A Chooseable-Path Adventure series)
Title: Romeo and/or Juliet
Author: Ryan North
Length: 400 pages
Genre: Older Teen and Young Adult Fiction Satire/Interactive Fiction
Publisher: Riverhead Books(June 7th 2016)
Shakespeare’s plays weren’t meant to be read. They were meant…to be played.
What if Romeo never met Juliet? What if Juliet got really buff instead of moping around all day? What if they teamed up to take over Verona with robot suits? This choose-your-own-path version of Romeo and Juliet—packed with fun puzzles, secrets, and quadrillions of possible storylines—lets you decide where the plot goes every time you read.
My Initial Thoughts
I debated between To Be or Not To Be and this book (both part of this series); I made a choice (see what I did here!) and picked Romeo and/or Juliet…
Like Lost in Austen, I am part-way through this read as well; and it is a fun romp playing the part of the bard himself so far (well, kind of!).
Get It Here
My Amazon Links for the Featured Books
My Bookshop Page for Make Your Own Adventure Books
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, have you read any of these books? Or books in the featured series? Maybe you have read other books with the same concept? Do let me know your thoughts on the books you have read and your recommendations as well.
I also saw that there was a Choose Your Own Adventure series that was very popular a few decades ago from my research for this post; though I am yet to read those myself.