Don’t forget about choose-your-own-adventure books! These stories, written with YOU as the hero, are very engaging to kids, particularly reluctant readers. I just read the new Alice Through the Looking Glass choose-your-own-adventure (listed below) and found it so delightful that I figured I should list all the best books of this fun sub-genre.
Almost all of these books are part of a series. This means that when your child finds one they like, they’ll have plenty more to read in the series.
Note: If you’re teaching point of view, use these books to teach second-person narration!
The Best Choose Your Own Adventure Books
Choose Your Own Adventure Books for Ages 2 – 6
Through the Forest by Steffie Brocoli and Catherine Bidet
Mother Forest narrates this forest choose-your-own-adventure story. She describes the scenes and gives you choices and their corresponding page numbers. You’ll love the leafy tab detail on the pages showing the page numbers for easy turning.
What Should Danny Do? by Adir Levy and Ganit Levy, illustrated by Mat Sadler
Kids get to help Danny use his superpower of choice to go through his day. As you help Danny make choices in this choose your own adventure, there is a clear cause and effect relationship shown between making good choices and maybe not to great choices. I really like the format and the message of this interactive book.
Choose Your Own Adventure Books for Ages 6 – 9
Your Grandparents Are Zombies! by Anson Montgomery
If you give your parents a potion that turns them into zombies, they’ll do whatever you say. It sounds good but will work out how you think?
The Ghost of the Bermuda Triangle by Laurie S. Sutton
The Scooby gang is in the Bermuda Triangle where a ghost interrupts a costume contest. Make choices to solve the mystery– will there be more than one ending?
Batman The Lazarus Plan (You Choose) by John Sazaklis
This superhero book grabs your attention immediately and keeps it. You get to decide what Batman would do and read 13 possible story endings. If you haven’t read a choose-your-own-adventure in a while, or ever, I highly recommend them. Many kids think they are fantastic! Also on: Superhero Books for Kids
Princess Island by Shannon Gillian
Princess Dirt’s mom wants her to go to princess camp but Princess Dirt prefers the time in nature. You pick which she chooses.
Choose Your Own Adventure Books for Ages 8 – 12
Could You Survive The Ice Age? by Blake Hoena
31 choices and 14 endings make this interactive choose your own adventure a full exploration of the Ice Age! A great choose-your-own adventure with a very cool setting in history.
Escape from a Video Game by Dustin Brady
If you like adrenaline with pure high stakes action, this choose-your-own adventure book will be your next favorite book! You are the hero in a new release video game called Cooper Hawke and the Secret of Phantom Island. Think quickly in order to escape your enemies and not get killed.
The Sky’s the Limit: My Journey with Mary Ellen (American Girl) by Valerie Tripp
ages 7 – 10
Enter Maryellen’s world during the 1950s. Wear poodle skirts and head to a school dance (they were called sock hops back then!), enter a contest, or take a trip in a streamlined silver camper that looks like a rocket ship. This is a fun series that my kids enjoyed.
Song of the Mockingbird: My Journey with Josefina (American Girl) by
A Girl’s Best Friend
ages 7 – 10
You think a pet is in danger at your new volunteer job, Pet-Palooza, a pet daycare center near campus. It’s up to you to protect and help the animals and to find out who you can trust.
A Matter of Time: Alice Through the Looking Glass by
I enjoyed this choose your own adventure story based on the film “Alice Through the Looking Glass”. Choose to be Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, or the White Queen. You’ll love finding all the different endings to the story — which will you pick?
Touch the Sun by Emily Conolan
ages 10 – 14
Step into the life of a Somali boy who with his little sister is fleeing for his life and doesn’t know who to trust. You won’t be able to put down this excellent action-packed and informative story. I loved that the author shares related factual information in the back of the book, referenced during the story. Be aware that there is violence in this story that may not be right for sensitive readers.
Break Your Chains by Emily Conolan
ages 8 – 12
From false imprisonment in London, you are sent on a ship to Australia, specifically Tasmania. You’re forced to work off your prison sentence and never lose hope that you’ll find your father. The history in this compelling story is fascinating.
Life as a Ninja by Matt Doeden
ages 8 – 12
A ninja in feudal Japan who is a soldier for hire, you can choose to lay siege to a castle, defend your home province from an army or act as a bodyguard to a powerful lord. (My daughter’s 5th-grade teacher just loaded up on this series of books because of a resurgence in popularity — all the kids, boys and girls, couldn’t seem to get enough.)
Ancient Egypt by Heather Adamson
ages 8 – 12
Learn about ancient Egypt by taking on different roles. Caution for younger readers, some of the endings are violent.
The Oregon Trail by Matt Doeden
ages 8 – 12
Will you go west with a wagon train? Discover what life was like during Westward Expansion by jumping into a role where the choices you make could lead you to opportunity, to wealth, to poverty, or death. You might also like Civil War.
Treasures of the Forgotten City by Danny McAleese
ages 8 – 12
Your grand-uncle left you clues to find Atraharsis — a legendary lost city beneath the desert sand. Can you solve the riddles, and recover the fabled star gems in time? Or will you — like so many who’ve gone before — become the next permanent resident of the forgotten city?
Little Red Riding Hood by Eric Braun
ages 8 – 12
Not only is this a fractured (mixed up) retelling of a fairy tale, it’s also a choose your own adventure story. You’ll find three new versions of this fairy tale with chilling, surprising, or disastrous results.
Can You Survive in a Dystopia? An Interactive Doomsday Adventure by Anthony Wacholtz, illustrated by James Nathan
ages 9 – 12
I loved that this book had so many endings (17) because I kept dying and had to go back and pick a different choice . . . This is a fun book for anyone who likes zombies, dystopia, and survival. Also read: Can You Survive an Artificial Intelligence Uprising?
Meanwhile by Jason Shiga
In this award-winning graphic novel choose your own adventure, you’re in a mad scientist’s lab. Choose between a mind-reading device, a time-travel machine, or the Killitron 3000 for your adventure.
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