Oh how I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure novels when I was in school. For an avid reader like me, to be able to page through a slim volume time and time again and come up with a different story each time was pretty cool. With that in mind, I was excited to hear about Jack London’s Call of the Wild: A Choose Your Path Book, adapted by Ryan Jacobson.
As the author shares in a letter to the reader at the beginning of the book, his exposure to Jack London in Middle School hooked him on the author’s work, and Call of the Wild in particular. I too remember it as being the first real “literature” that I read back in Middle School. I had wondered how true to the story would be (not that I would remember since Middle School was a loooong time ago).
The book opens with a contemporary scene, as a prologue. The main character does not want to go on a camping trip, and after lashing out at his dog, he holes up in his room, where a book calls to him, literally with muffled yelling and dog barking. It’s The Call of the Wild. . . .
That brings the reader into the story, where he becomes Buck, the sled dog. The reader is invited to “Choose Your Path” at certain times in the book, usually after reading a page or two. This placement will keep kids reading longer. The writing is nice and fluid — full of action and captivating. If you remember Call of the Wild, there is a fair amount of violence as occurs naturally in nature. Sensitive readers will be bothered by it, but in general, it’s perfectly age appropriate.
I love the idea of adapting classics into this exciting format with kid-appeal and Jack London’s Call of the Wild: A Choose Your Path Book is a great beginning.
Jennifer Donovan blogs about books and her two kids (13 and 7) at Snapshot when she’s not reading and reviewing here (or taking care of said children).