Monday, April 29, 2013

A-Z Challenge: Y is for You

You.  You.  You.  Second person point of view.

What is second person point of view?  First person is "I, I, I."  Third person is "he, she, it".  Second person is "you."  You pick up a book.  You open the book and begin to read.  That sort of thing.

When I think of second person point of view I think of the Choose Your Own Adventure books.  My brother was given a set of four one year for Christmas.  He's not a reader, but I am.  I would sneak into his room and read books on his shelf, which included the Choose Your Own Adventure books.  I'm sure I didn't need to sneak in, but I did it anyway.

These books are considered game books where you decide what happens next.  Do you go up the stairs (turn to page 15) or do you check out the noise in the kitchen (turn to page 3)?  You can read the same book multiple times without reading the same exact story.

Direct from Wikipedia:
The stories are formatted so that, after a couple of pages of reading, the protagonist faces two or three options, each of which leads to more options, and then to one of many endings.[1]The number of endings is not set, and varies from as many as 40 in the early titles, to as few as 12 in later adventures. Likewise, there is no clear pattern among the various titles regarding the number of pages per ending, the ratio of "good" to "bad" endings, or the reader's progression backwards and forwards through the pages of the book. This allows for a realistic sense of unpredictability, and leads to the possibility of repeat readings, which is one of the distinguishing features of the books.[7]As the series progressed, both Packard and Montgomery experimented with the gamebook format, sometimes introducing unexpected twists such as endless page loops or trick endings. Examples include the "paradise planet" ending in Inside UFO 54-40, which can only be reached by cheating, and the potentially endless storyline of Race Forever.[4]

Ten Facts about Choose Your Own Adventure:

  • Concept created by Edward Packard.  He came up with the idea while telling his daughters bedtime stories.  He would tell them stories about a character named Pete.  One night he ran out of ideas so he asked them what Pete should do.  Their enthusiasm inspired him to write Sugarcane Island.
  • Sold more than 25 million copies between 1979 and 1998.
  • Originally published as "Adventure of You" Series.
  • Out of print between 1999-2004.
  • Original publishers Bantam (actually, they were third after Vermont Crossroads Press and Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster), now owned by Random House, allowed the trademark to lapse.  The books have been re-released by Chooseco, who now owns the trademark.
  • Chooseco does not reissue titles written by Packard.
  • McGraw-Hill has gotten in on the action and in 2011 published Choose Your Own Adventure Graded Readers.  The Graded Readers are 30 titles from the Chooseco selection adapted to be suitable for ESL readers.
  • 2006, an interactive DVD movie based on Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman starring William H. Macey and Frankie Munez was released.  Every 3-6 minutes the viewer is given a choice which they make with the remote.
  • Aside from the original series and the reprints by Chooseco, there are 12 spin-off series, some of which are Choose Your Own Adventure: Walt Disney Series, Choose Your Own Nightmare, and Choose Your Own Star Wars Adventure.
  • 2010, Edward Packard released one of his titles, Return to the Cave of Time, as an iPhone app under the name U-Ventures.
For a list of titles check out the Wikipedia page here.

For more information check out the following sites:


  1. Loved these! Just discovering your blog for the first time as I make my way through the A-Z Challenge. Please check us out and sign up to follow if you like what you see. Juliet atCity Muse Country Muse