Throwback Thursday: “Sugarcane Island,” by Edward Packard

Does anybody else remember Edward Packard’s “Sugarcane Island?”  I actually had a copy of its original publication, as the first of the “The Adventures of You” series.  The “series” was actually just three groundbreaking books by Packard that served as the prototype for the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books that I’m sure many of us remember.

The Internet tells me that major publishers actually rejected “Sugarcane Island” before Vermont Crossroads Press picked it up in 1976.  Lippincott put out the other two, then Packard struck a deal with Bantam Books in 1979 to create the entire CYOA series (which incorporated this book).  That’s a nice little success story.

Man, did I love this book.  And damn if that cover couldn’t captivate a gradeschooler!!  I loved the CYOA books that followed, as well, but my fondest memory is of this one.  I even sat down when I was in the second or third grade and penned my own.  (Predictably, it involved a mysterious island.)  I filled a red spiral notebook with numbered pages and fates of my ow making.  I like to think it was pretty good for a kid.  I’ve still got it somewhere.

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