Chooseco, the Vermont company that publishes the Choose Your Own Adventure series for children, is partnering with Frito-Lay on a high-tech back-to-school promotion meant to stimulate brains as well as taste buds. Throughout this month and next month, Frito-Lay customers can gain free exclusive early access to abridged digital versions of three new CYOA fall 2011 titles. Expanded versions of the three titles are scheduled for release in electronic and print formats on October 1. The promotion also includes a sweepstakes for a family to win a 14-day cruise to the Galapagos Islands.

There are two electronic versions of the CYOA books available during this promotion: an abridged version for the Web with artwork and sound effects, and a super-abridged version for mobile phones. These CYOA tales can also be accessed (via the Web) on an e-reader with wifi capability, such as the iPad, but not on the Nook or Kindle.

“The goal of the promotion is to bring the series back to the millions of moms who loved Choose Your Own Adventure, so that they can share the series with their kids,” explained Chooseco senior managing editor Melissa Bounty. CYOA is an interactive, multiple-choice, multiple-ending series first conceptualized by author R.A. Montgomery in 1979. In each CYOA story, the reader makes choices to propel the plot along, which in turn determines the final outcome. The concept, which was re-launched by Chooseco in 2006, has been, according to prominent educators, such as Jo Worthy in The Reading Teacher, especially popular with reluctant readers. The three promoted titles are Search for the Black Rhino by Alison Gilligan, Curse of the Pirate Mist by Doug Wilhelm, and The Trail of Lost Time by R.A. Montgomery.

The CYOA/Frito-Lay promotion runs through September 30. The three CYOA books included in the promotion can be accessed digitally for free through December 31. Details about the promotion, including how to enter the family vacation sweepstakes, can be found here.