22 Best Choose Your Own Adventure Books
This post may contain affiliate links.
Don’t forget about the best 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 middle grade choose-your-own-adventure (listed below) and found it so delightful that I figured I share with you all the best books in this fun sub-genre. Especially after several teachers reported how much their students were loving these adventure stories.
Here’s how it works. Young readers begin reading the story narrated in the 2nd person point of view. In other words, you are the protagonist. You make the decisions. You might fight the bad guys. And before long, you’ll have to make your first big decision. Which choice will you pick? When you decide, your choice determines what page you read next, and the way the story will go. You continue making choices. Some will work out but most will be disastrous. Can you even believe how interactive this reading experience is? And how many story options are there in these books?
Plus, for even more awesomeness, almost all of these choose your own adventure books are books in a series. This means that when your child likes the first book in the series, they’ll have plenty more books to read in the rest of the series.
Incidentally, if you’re a teacher or homeschooler trying to teach students about point of view, use these books to teach second-person narration!
Now you might be thinking that a choose your own adventure book is only for chapter and middle grade books. Not so fast. Believe it or not, I have so several interesting picture book choices for young readers as well.
Of course, if you have readers ages 6 and up, you can find a fun variety of chapter books and middle grade titles, everything from time traveling to zombies to ninjas.
The Best Choose Your Own Adventure Books
Choose Your Own Adventure Picture Books
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. Kids will love the leafy tab details on the pages which show the page numbers for easier 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 great choices. I really like the format and the message of this interactive book.
Endlessly Ever After by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Dan Santat
ages 3 – 7
Make decisions as you read classic fairy tales like “The Three Little Pigs” and “Snow White” and make the stories hilarious and different with your choices. Beautifully illustrated.
Choose Your Own Adventure Chapter Books
Ages 6 – 9
Your Very Own Robot by R. A. Montgomery
ages 6 – 9
When your parents throw away pieces of a failed robot, you decide to put it back together. And, depending on your choices, crazy robot adventures ensue. . .
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 it will?
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!
Princess Island by Shannon Gillian
Princess Dirt’s mom wants her to go to princess camp, but Princess Dirt prefers time in nature. You pick which she chooses.
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 book series that my kids enjoyed.
Song of the Mockingbird: My Journey with Josefina (American Girl) by
Choose Your Own Adventure Middle Grade Books
Ages 8 – 12
Could You Survive The Ice Age? by Blake Hoena
ages 8 – 12
31 choices and 14 endings make this interactive 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
ages 8 – 12
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 to escape your enemies and not get killed.
Leviathan: Adventures in Comics by Jason Shiga
ages 8 – 12
Original and interactive, this choose-your-own-adventure comic takes readers on a quest for a magic wand that will stop the Leviathan. But what is the history of the coastal town and the Leviathan? And how did Leviathan’s attacks stop crime in the village? I predict kids will 100% enjoy this captivating adventure story!
Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path by Amy Seto Forrester & Andy Chou Musser
ages 8 – 12
Join an expedition on a dive to the deepest ocean depths to search for a giant squid. Choose which pilot to be, the submersible you’ll use, and the dive site, and then, start your adventure. What will you discover? What will you do with mechanical problems or bad weather?
Spin to Survive: Deadly Jungle by Emily Hawkins, illustrated by R. Fresson
ages 8 – 12
In this choose your own adventure story, spin the spinner to decide your moves through the Amazon Rainforest, searching for the Lost City of the Jaguar God. You’ll face rivers, jaguars, rival treasure hunters, waterfalls, cliffs, snakes, etc. Can you survive? What will you eat? The book will give you the story as well as survival tips, like how to make a fish trap and what plants are poisonous. Read short biographies of other survivors and creature features.
Choose Your Own Adventure 4-Book Boxed Set by R.A. Montgomery
ages 8 – 12
Get a box set of four bestselling titles from the classic gamebook series!
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.” What’s even more fun is you can 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 character will you be and what story will you tell?
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 their lives. You won’t be able to put down this excellent action packed, and informative story. I loved how the author shares related factual information at the back of the book, things referenced during the story. Be aware that there is violence in this story that may not be right for sensitive readers.
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, can’t seem to get enough.)
Ancient Egypt by Heather Adamson
ages 8 – 12
Learn about ancient Egypt by taking on different roles. I would advise caution for younger readers as 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, wealth, poverty, or death. You might also like another book in the series, 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 those 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 fairy tale, but it’s also a choose your own adventure story. You’ll find three new versions of this classic fairy tale ending in 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 middle grade book had so many endings (17, to be precise) 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. Another book in the series is Can You Survive an Artificial Intelligence Uprising?
Meanwhile by Jason Shiga
In this award-winning graphic novel, choose your own adventure in a mad scientist’s lab. Choose between a mind-reading device, a time-travel machine, or the Killitron 3000 for your adventure.
YA Ages 12+
The Dregg Disaster: An Algebra Gamebook by Chris Matthews
Not your normal adventure book; this title is all about algebra. Kids will have to make choices and solve problems like plot points, factors, polynomials, and percents, concepts from Algebra I. Wouldn’t this be a great homeschool math book?
You Might Also Like:
Thank you so much for this list! I have been trying to find the names of the first choose your own adventure books I ever read (so I can buy them for my daughter). They would have been released in the early years, mid 1980’s or so. I just remembered that they were called ‘quest books’ or were ‘quest books’ and they were so exciting for me as a young girl. I’m guessing most of them are out of print now, even if I could find the names of them. Anyway, this list is just what I’ve been looking for, so I can introduce my girl to the exciting world of choosing your own adventure. Thanks again!
Thanks! I think some of the classic quest titles are retitled with new covers — the R.A. Montogmery ones.
This is a great list. Have you seen the plants vs zombies choose your path book? It is what finally got my oldest son to enjoy reading. He’s been looking for more choose your own adventure books and I think he might like a couple of these. Thanks for putting this together!
I love those books but haven’t seen the choose your own adventure — thanks for the tip!
Thanks for this list! My mother is an adult literacy tutor and we were just talking about whether these kinds of books still exist. She is currently working with a student on his GED and because of his reading level, the last books he read and enjoyed were books for tweens. She thought choose your own adventure books might be something he would be willing to read.
that would be a great option! I hope it works out. 🙂