In March 1983, an unconventional series of books held the top three entries of the Sunday Times bestseller list. These were Fighting Fantasy books – gamebooks similar to The Keys, the first book in my YOU are the Hero series, but different in that to take part in the fun of Fighting Fantasy, you also needed a pencil, eraser and dice.

The next book in the YOU are the Hero series, The Haunting of Truth High, will incorporate traditional Afrikan game elements.

According to one parent, who bought The Keys for her 15 year old son and 12 year old daughter, she was surprised that her teens, long classified as “reluctant readers,” became so engrossed in the adventures of Terry De Fuego and Jordan Drummond. “My children became completely taken over by the roleplaying as, suddenly, this was the chance to experience a book where, not only did the heroes look like them, but they were the hero.”

She went on further to say “The fact that they could also choose a hero from both genders excited them and pleasantly surprised me.”

Even before the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, however, there was the wildly popular Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks, which inspired Fighting Fantasy and my YOU are the Hero series.

In honor of those books that continue to inspire others to read and to write, I would like to share with you some of my favorite Choose Your Own Adventure titles that I am sure you enjoyed reading as well.

For those who never read Choose Your Own Adventure Books, you are in for a treat! Be sure to read The Keys first, then read the books that follow*!





*These are parodies of CYOA books, shared for your amusement. However, The Keys is real, of course!

About Balogun

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link, Rite of Passage: Initiation and Rite of Passage: The Dentist of Westminster. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at He is author of eight novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika; a Fight Fiction, New Pulp novella, Fist of Afrika; the gritty, Urban Superhero series, A Single Link and Wrath of the Siafu; the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe and the “Choose-Your-Own-Destiny”-style Young Adult novel, The Keys. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis and co-author of the award winning screenplay, Ngolo. You can reach him on Facebook at; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at

11 responses »

  1. Fujimoto says:

    Ah, so the elusive The Haunting of Truth High will be part of your new series. This adds a new layer of excitement to it. Looks like I will have to buy these in print form since I really, really want to check out Truth High.

    I wonder what Kill the White Colonizers! originally was? That is some striking cover art. Chose Your Own Afrikan Adventure is definitely something I could get behind.

  2. Fujimoto says:

    Thank you for telling me. I see it’s one reissued for Kindle, but with less striking cover art.

  3. Kushite Prince says:

    Great post! I need to get some of those books! Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Ced Pharaoh says:

    I LOVED Choose Your Own Adventure Books when I was younger! I will pick this up for my Son & myself!

  5. […] you’ve never read a Choose Your Own Adventure book before, they’re a little hard to explain. They’re not like much else in the “kid lit” […]

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