The CYOA I picked was called "You Are a Shark," written by Edward Packard. The basic outline of the story is that you walk into a temple that you know you shouldn’t go into. You meet a monk that tells you that you have slipped into the “shadow of death,” but you are not dead. The guardian outside of the temple will not let you leave and you must live out your life as different animals until he thinks it will be ok for you to go.
This story definitely seems like it is more for younger children, unlike the Thousand Boyfriends story. As we discussed in class, this CYOA is a way to get away from real life. Many people sometimes think of what it would be like if you could turn into an animal. This does just that, this story lets you choose your own pathway and puts you in an animal body from the circumstance you choose.
While it is a relief to get away from real life circumstances, you must still make the right decisions. As in many other CYOA’s, if you make the wrong decision, you will most likely die. Death happens a lot in this book from what I have read. I suppose this would be a good way to teach children to make the right decisions, even if it may be for circumstances that they may never come across in real life.
This idea of being able to live out situations without the consequences ties in with a passage from Donna Haraway’s, “A Cyborg Manifesto.” She states, “The culture of video games I heavily orientated to individual competition and extraterrestrial warfare. High-tech, gendered imaginations are produced here, imaginations that can contemplate destruction of the planet and a sci-fi escape from its consequences.” Video games are a prime example of being able to escape reality. You and be involved in war and kill other players without the mental problems that you may experience if you are a soldier in a real war. I know this writing isn’t really looking at escaping reality, but I found that part interesting.