Meanwhile by Jason Shiga

Meanwhile: Pick Any Path, 3,856 Story Possibilities by Jason Shiga (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 80
Ages: 9+
Finished: Dec. 8, 2010
First Published: Mar. 1, 2010
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Graphic novel, children, choose your own adventure
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

Okay, I'm ready to order now.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Hachette Book Group.

Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.

Well, this *is* a book but a very unique one. You've never seen anything like this before: plastic pages with tabs all along the edges and tubes that run up, down, right, left and all over the place. In fact, this is more like playing a game than reading a book. You start out with the choice of chocolate or vanilla ice cream and from there on every choice you make changes the story and the possible outcome. Certain places you need access codes but if you haven't found the code yet you have to keep going hoping you will find it later and be able to find your way back again. This is very much like the old Choose Your Own Adventure books, well it *is* like them but on a graphic level and a much more complicated (mathematical) level in which it has been made. There really and truly is no way to back track, make the wrong choice and try to cheat by going back and picking differently? Hah! I tried it; it's a wicked maze and just can't be done. You find yourself going in circles, going through parts you've been through over and over but this is good because now is when you can change your choices or try to find that access code.

I played three times. Vanilla is my favourite ice cream; I know, boring, so I choose vanilla first and well boring is as boring does. The vanilla route is a boring little story that takes you home. You have to choose chocolate to get into the story! So the next time I played I chose chocolate and played for a long time going around in circles trying to find that access code, playing with the inventions, having fun, but eventually started getting tired of the continuous circles and suddenly found myself at the ice cream store again and chose vanilla. Hah! A way out of the game, I got sent home. OK, third try, chocolate, must find access code, going in circles, going to the bathroom, yes found the code! more circles, lots of going in circles, met myself twice in the past, played with the inventions over and over and over, circles anyone? and then in the end I killed everybody on earth but me! Fun! This would be a great book to have in the back seat of the car, to put in the silent reading area for reluctant readers and should be in every doctor and dentist's office in the world!


  1. This is a fun one, isn't it?! I never did get around to writing a review of it, which is too bad because I could barely pry it out of my kids' hands to return it to the library once all our renewals were up. :-)


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