American Girl Publishing, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011, is going in a new direction by launching a contemporary middle-grade book line, Innerstar University, that is somewhat reminiscent of the Choose Your Own Adventure series of children’s books popular in the 1980s and ’90s. The Innerstar University books will be written from a second-person point-of-view, with the reader assuming the role of protagonist and making selections from among multiple story lines, to arrive at one of more than 20 possible endings. Additional story endings will be available online via an access code included with the print book, thus providing an even more interactive component for readers.
The first four titles in the new line are Braving the Lake by Erin Falligant, Taking the Reins by Alison Hart, Fork in the Trail by Laurie Calkhoven, and A Girl’s Best Friend by Catherine Stine. Arcana Studios is the illustrator for all the releases.
Falligant, who is also an editor at American Girl, officially launched the Innerstar University line on September 11 with a stage presentation and author signing at the Target Children’s Book Festival in Bloomington, Minn.
According to American Girl executives, an interactive book line with contemporary themes may be radically different from the company’s typical products, especially its well-known historical fiction line, but like all American Girl releases, Innerstar University titles emphasize core values, such as intelligence, confidence, bravery, kindness, loyalty, fairness, inner strength, and friendship.