When I was a kid, I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I’d always try to grab a few before a long car trip, and amuse myself for hours figuring out the different plotlines. They were never great writing or the kind of books you put away for your own children to read someday, but they were awfully fun and entertaining.
They’ve been out of print, off and on, for years, until publisher Shannon Gilligan started things back up again in 2003 with her company, Chooseco. She’s married to R.A. “Ray” Montgomery, who was the founder of the series. They’ve reissued the original series as well as written some new ones, as well as a Choose Your Own Adventure-style series for teen girls called Fabulous Terrible and one for younger readers called Dragonlark.
There’s a Choose Your Own Adventure app for the iPhone now that Chooseco developed (both Gilligan and Montgomery worked for years as software developers) which uses video so you can actually see the different adventures you have.
Jezebel has a really interesting interview with Gilligan about how the series came about, how she relaunched it, and how the writers and editors manage all those different possible endings. I’ll be definitely looking for these for my kids when they’re old enough.