R.A. Montgomery, the author of the reader adventure series — “Choose Your Own Adventure” — died this week at the age of 78. The beloved writer’s cause of death (COD) remains a mystery at this point, as his family has not come forward to provide that information. Gawker News confirms this Friday, November 14, 2014, that Montgomery passed earlier this weekend, at peace in his home.
Talk about an impactful life. Although 78-year-old R.A. Montgomery, adventure book writer extraordinaire, may have died this week, his written works will live on in popular memory of thousands of children. The author’s COD has not been shared at this time, but an official announcement was provided by the modern publishers of the famous books. Montgomery started writing “Choose Your Own Adventure” back in the 1970s, and they quickly became the immense success that they remain today.
“Montgomery, who was passionate about education all his life, felt that interactive fiction was critical to reluctant readers in achieving reading fluency, which is the final stage of achieving true literacy.”
From four books came many more, it seems. News Oxy shares some details about about R.A. Montgomery and the inception of the “Adventure” book series. The author initially succeeded in publishing a set of four texts that would eventually evolve into the Bantam “Choose” sequence. Under Vermont Crossroads Press, these books were entitled “Space and Beyond,” “By Balloon to the Sahara,” “Journey Under the Sea,” and last but not least, “The Cave of Time.” In the past four decades, Montgomery went on to write dozens of creative reads for children as well as several engaging spin-off series.
The talented author didn’t find success all on his own. With the support of his wife and two sons, the R.A. Montgomery “Adventure” book set continued from late 1879 all the way until 1998, when the series was picked up by contemporary publishers. The 78-year-old author remains of the most well-remembered and respected writers in modern memory, with his “Choose Your Own Adventure” books having over 250 million print copies that have found a home in both younger and more mature readers.
Why were these books so beloved by public audiences? What was perhaps so interesting about these books was the involvement they provided to readers of all levels. While advanced readers might feel challenged to use their reasoning to determine what “choice” would be most effective at one stage of the book, even reluctant readers could lose themselves in the engaging texts.
The author may have passed in his home this week, but this wasn’t the end of his dream. According to Montgomery, he had hoped to one day explore the world and learn more about different cultures and societies unfamiliar to him. In doing so, the 78-year-old might help create more “Choose Your Own Adventure” books that would be personal and culturally relevant to young readers across the globe. The books themselves were specifically intended for pre-teens that provide the protagonist with a second-person perspective.
Ultimately, the R.A. Montgomery “Adventure” series remains an interesting and popular set of books today. Despite his recent death, the 78-year-old author’s love of reading, education, and intellectual creativity will no doubt live on in the students who continue to enjoy his texts today. In other exciting book news this week, the Brother Grimm fairy tales are coming back with a vengeance. A new translator is ready to publish over 100 of the classic stories that will have a more authentic, accurate depiction of the characters and contents. Kids beware: these new versions are going to be much darker than those you may be familiar with in the past.