World War I by Gwenyth Swain
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A Choose Your Own Adventure styled book on World War I seems disrespectful. CYOA are written for fun. It would be like doing a Mad Libs for 9/11.
Once I got past that feeling and got done to reading this thing --and read it I did, for I can not help myself when it comes to a CYOA-- I actually enjoyed this a good deal. It treats the war and its participants with the honor they deserve.
Unlike all CYOAs I've read, in this You Choose book you choose from three different characters to play: a Belgian nurse, a British Tommy, and an American ambulance driver. Because it's broken up this way, while maintaining the usual short CYOA number of pages, the storylines within World War I: An Interactive History Adventure are necessarily short. Usually you get about a dozen pages per story before surviving or dying.
And there is a lot of dying in this one. More than any other CYOA I've ever read. Author Gwenyth Swain didn't pussyfoot around the bloodiness of this particularly gruesome war, at least not considering this was probably written for someone around 10-12 years of age.
Yes, it is short, so much of the war is criminally curtailed, but still, I learned a tidbit or two. Seems there's always something new to learn about this seemingly insane war no matter how much I read about it.
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