Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Bring Your Own Book

Bring Your Own Book

Spring 2016 Games
Ages: 12 & Up
Manufacturer: Gamewright
Price: $14.99

Bring Your Own Book is a game for fast readers who enjoy looking at their favorite reading material from a new angle. Players choose a book -- any book: a novel, a history book, even a cookbook -- and wait for the prompts to tell them what to seek. One player acts as the judge, first reading out a prompt from a card, then waiting for all players quickly to find a word or phrase that matches the prompt; when all responses are in, the judge chooses the one he or she likes best and awards the prompt card. The first player to collect enough prompt cards wins the game.

Parents who know games like "Apples to Apples" will find familiar elements in this game. Our players quickly realized that the response to the prompt need to entertain the judge more than they need to be the perfect result, leading to a fair amount of hilarity. And, as with Apples to Apples, the game expects a bit of background knowledge from the players; the prompt cards we encountered were all very much kid-safe, but younger players sometimes needed help to understand the concepts or vocabulary in some of the prompts. The prompts cover a wide range: "Overheard at a sporting event," "A line from a manifesto," "This is the way the world ends," "A celebrity's Twitter update."

Because the reading material can vary so widely, this game can turn out very differently every time it is played. Our players had the most fun (and the game was most level) when they each worked from a different volume of a single series, but other players might, for example, enjoy working from more ridiculous sources. This would be an excellent game for a party -- the instructions recommend 6-8 players but suggest trying as many as 20 for fun. Particularly creative kids could use the cards as writing prompts. Regardless of the size of the game or the source material, Bring Your Own Book will appeal to pretty much everyone with a silly streak.

Emily Crawford   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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