Review — Campfire Crisis

What Jen Thinks: I have always thought there needed to be more choose-your-own-adventure books in the world. I remember reading the R.A. Montgomery books when I was younger and loving them. One thing that was very different about this chose-your-adventure type book compared to others that I have read, is that readers are given a choice at the end of every chapter. Your choice doesn’t mean that you will jump around in the book, the reader still reads through the chapters but is given a choice at the end of each. The author helps readers recognize when he or she has made a decision that would not be wise and then the reader is made aware of this and is able to instead make the opposite choice. Because this format is so unique compared to what I have read before, it made me stop and think about what I’m used to and why the author made the decisions he did about how to format this particular book. This would be a wonderful conversation to have with students about decisions an author makes and why or why not he or she might make those decisions. It would be interesting to hear how students respond to different types of choices they are given.
Similarly, choose-your-adventure books are unique because they are usually told form a 2nd person point of view. 2nd person seems to be altogether rare in writing and I think it is often overlooked when point of view is taught to students. I love that books like Campfire Crisis give students the opportunity to recognize what 2nd person point of view is and how it is different from 1st and 3rd person. (I totally remember wondering what 2nd person point of view meant because if you had 1st and 3rd, why wouldn’t you have 2nd?) I strongly believe in giving kids all the information and helping them discern for themselves why you may or may not use a point of view and why it may or may not be more common than others. Overall, I think students will learn a lot about camping and survival by reading this book but can also examine an author’s decisions and discuss how those decisions might apply in their own writing.

What Kellee Thinks: A different kind of choose your path book. In a choice chapter book, you are still the protagonist (2nd person alert!), but throughout the book you are given choices (one is right and one is wrong; rational is given) and you only continue when you choose the right one. This book definitely would be a great introduction to camping and takes the reader through some really realistic situations. Though a bit didactical, it definitely works in teaching safety- I even learned a few things.
In the classroom, this book would be great in a 2nd or 3rd grade classroom to talk about cause and effect. You could look at what would happen if you chose the wrong choice.
I cannot wait to see what other books come out in this series. I think it is a great opportunity to teach readers about many different things in a fun way.

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