Cheers: The Path You Choose – #3

What would you do if you drank wine at cheer practice, and your parents praised you for not drinking?

Cheers is the third book in The Path You Choose book series. This book features a girl’s point of view on the topic of underage drinking and can be a stand-alone story or read as a continuation of book #2, On the Rocks.

You, the reader, are the main character, and there are many choices to make throughout the book. This book has 15 possible endings. Your choices will determine the outcome.

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Book Cover for Cheers: The Path You Choose - #3

Intro to Cheers

Your parents are going out for the evening. Your sister is planning to hang out with her boyfriend and some friends. Your parents have told you that you can have a friend over, or spend the night with a friend, but you cannot go out with your sister.

You are going to a cheer practice with an older girl, and after practice, she offers the girls a glass of wine. She tells you to take a glass for a toast, and then you can put it back if you don’t want to drink it. Your choices begin with that glass of wine. Should you drink it, or should you leave along with your friend Keesha?

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Many other choices come into play. Should you ride home with a girl who has been drinking? Should you go to the party, even after your parents told you to stay home? If you go to the party, should you drink along with other kids your age?

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Once you have made a few bad choices, the consequences start to pile up. You could be taken to juvenile detention for underage drinking. Or end up on the freeway, riding in a car with a drunk driver. You could also face restrictions from your parents and lose your opportunity to try out for the cheer squad.

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Or you could hang out with a friend at her house and never go to the party. This way, you have the chance to become a cheerleader. Later you hear about the consequences faced by others, such as being involved in a drunk driving accident, and friends being taken to the hospital with alcohol poisoning, because of the choices they have made.

Book Reviews for Cheers: The Path You Choose

Jill Ammon Vanderwood brings us the third installment in The Path You Choose series titled Cheers! This interactive fiction series centers around the perils of underage drinking. The author provides us with 15 paths or stories to choose from that will determine the reader’s eventual fate.

Children and teenagers need to know about the dangers and pitfalls they may experience when they or others consume alcohol. In the end, each story has a valuable lesson to be learned.

We often forget that alcohol misuse is not only detrimental to ourselves but also possibly others around us. Jill Ammon Vanderwood perfectly encapsulates this in several of the stories, where the consequences are not just on you, the reader, but also on other children and teenagers. She has a direct but poignant approach to these life lessons children need to learn. The art by Kerah Diez adds wonderfully to the story and illuminates several dangerous situations children can find themselves in.

No matter the legal age of drinking in your country, starting early to teach your kids about responsible alcohol use is a must, and this book is a great way to achieve that.

The book concludes with information that children need to know about alcohol, links to news stories about teen drinking, and references for many of the issues that Vanderwood writes about.

Melanie Kennedy for Readers’ Favorite

Cheers! The Path You Choose #3 is a “choose your own story” book. As the title implies, it’s the third book of a series by Jill Ammon Vanderwood and a continuation of the previous book. However, people don’t need to have read the earlier book, or even be familiar with it, to enjoy and profit from this one. The book is a standalone story in and of itself. The book is intended for children who are in grades 5 to 8. The reader is the protagonist and must make many choices. The choices include being offered alcohol, getting into a car being driven by someone who had been drinking, and other circumstances that children of the target age, which is 5th through 8th grade, may face. The book concludes with information that children need to know about alcohol, links to news stories about teen drinking, and references for many of the issues that Vanderwood writes about.

I loved reading Cheers! The Path You Choose #3. This book is extraordinary in that it’s not only high in entertainment value, but it also contains many positive messages for children who are in grades 5 to 8. Author Jill Ammon Vanderwood possesses keen insight into the everyday situations that children that age are involved in and she invariably points them to the right path. She is never preachy or even has a “you need to learn this” attitude. Instead, she shows by example what the potential positive or negative outcomes of choices may be. I wish this book had been available when my children were the ages that Vanderwood is writing to. She understands that children of her target audience age are making decisions that not only impact them on a day-to-day basis but can impact their entire lives. Note that the book discusses serious topics, including drinking, juvenile detention, and the potentially tragic outcome if people drink and drive. The author recommends that children younger than grade 5 not read it. But I highly recommend this book to those in the target age group. I also recommend it to their parents and grandparents. Buy this book for your children or grandchildren. It might literally save their lives.

Joe Wisinski for Readers’ Favorite

A right or wrong choice can sometimes define a person’s entire life trajectory. In Cheers!, the third book of The Path You Choose series by Jill Ammon Vanderwood, it’s you, the reader, who is the main protagonist. You get fifteen possible endings, each depending on the choices you make at specific points in the story. You are a young, impressionable girl studying in middle grade who has the chance to attend a party at a friend’s house without the supervision of his parents. The cheerleader you admire offers you a drink. What do you do? Will you ever get into a car with a drunk driver? What if the party gets out of hand and it is raided by cops? Find out the results of the choices you make and their potential consequences.

Underage drinking is a major concern for parents all over the world. This cautionary tale by Jill Ammon Vanderwood perfectly encapsulates how seemingly innocuous decisions can lead to disastrous results if proper care and caution are not taken, especially during your adolescent years when you are susceptible to all kinds of exposure to harmful elements. The characters feel like teenagers and preteens you may have met in real life. The illustrations by Kerah Diez bring the characters and events to life and make the narrative all the more immersive. Cheers! is an interactive story for middle graders that showcases the ills of underage drinking and provides insights on how to navigate situations where you may feel pressured. A relevant book for kids and parents alike.

Pikasho Deka for Readers’ Favorite

Assembly Presentation

Mom’s Choice Award Winning Author, Jill Ammon Vanderwood would like to present an assembly at your school for students in grades 5-8.
The title of the book is Cheers!—which asks the question: What would you do if a friend your age offered you alcohol?

My story

I have witnessed the effect of alcoholism on three generations of my family beginning in most cases, with underage drinking. I want to get my message out to make a difference for the next generation. What impacts our younger generations impacts us all.

  • Did you know that 10% of middle school kids in North Carolina have tried alcohol by the eighth grade? By the age of 15 that percentage jumps to 50%.
  • Out of those under age 21:
  • 29% drank alcohol.
  • 14% binge drank.
  • 5% of drivers drove after drinking alcohol.
  • 17% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
  • Six people die each day from alcohol poisoning.
  • Binge drinking is the most common practice that causes alcohol poisoning.

These topics and more will be covered in the presentations given by Jill Ammon Vanderwood in talks with 5th-8th graders across the nation.

  • The author presents a PowerPoint presentation on the topic of Underage Drinking.
  • The program begins by the introduction to the topic, how it has impacted the author and her family and how it may impact each person in the room.
  • The author will give out I’ve Got Your Back cards for kids to exchange with someone. Each card asks for both names and when they exchange, they are asked to perform three acts of kindness for the other person. The reason for these cards it to build up friendships where you can look out for each other.
  • This presentation will also include either a binge eating contest between a student and faculty member—eating cereal, a hamburger, pizza or a taco.

The cost for my program

Because I need to travel to your area, (I live in Idaho) the cost for my program will be $800 dollars for the day, per school, as long as I can present to multiple schools in your district. Ahead of the program date, I will be asking each student to purchase an e-book at the cost of $3.99 through Amazon, which will download immediately to a phone, tablet, or Kindle. For students who cannot afford a copy of the book, I will email a PDF copy to your school librarian so that the librarian can allow students to have access to that download before the presentation.

My charitable partner is, No Kid Hungry. I am working to get paying sponsors who can provide books for students. I will let you know if this change takes place.
I would like to offer a presentation to the faculty and even parents the evening before I present to the students. This will be the same presentation as the one given to students the next day. I will ask for each person attending to download the Kindle book before the presentation.

I will ask the school to post an article about my presentation in a school newsletter and on the school webpage ahead of the presentation and I will contact the media ahead of my presentation, as well.

My contact information

Jill Vanderwood—
Please put School presentation in the subject line

Is there such a thing as being ‘a little drunk’?

When going from being sober to tipsy or buzzed, there is a point when you are beginning to feel the effects of alcohol. This could be after 1-2 drinks per hour for women and 2-3 drinks per hour for men. This also depends on:

  1. Your past experience with alcohol
  2. How much food is in your stomach?
  3. How much you weigh

What is tipsy?

Being tipsy is the first sign that the alcohol you’re drinking is having an effect on your body. This tipsiness begins when alcohol enters the bloodstream and starts to affect the functions of both your brain and your body. When a person becomes tipsy, they:

  • Become more talkative and seem more self-confident.
  • Are likely to show risky behavior and their speech and reactions slow down.
  • Have a shorter attention span and poor short-term memory.

A person who is tipsy is at greater risk of injury than a sober person.

What is the quickest way to sober up?

There is nothing a person can do to quickly bring down the blood alcohol concentration or BAC level in their body. The only thing that will help your body to become completely sober is time.

In the News

A 14-Year-Old Dies of Alcohol Poisoning at Her Own Slumber Party

A teenage girl was found dead on the floor of her bedroom of apparent alcohol poisoning after drinking at her own slumber party. Other girls were throwing up and the mother thought it was from the food poisoning due to the hamburgers they bought for the girls earlier. Her daughter wasn’t throwing up so the mother didn’t attend to her. The next morning her mother found that her daughter had died.

Teen driver in fatal alcohol-related crash is sentenced to 18 months in jail

An underage teen drinker caused an accident while going 119 mph in a 35-mph zone. His two passengers were not intoxicated. A 15-year-old high school student was killed and a 17-year-old was critically injured. He had to learn how to talk, walk and function again which took years of recovery. This all happened because of the choice of the driver to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated and the choice of the others to get into a car with a drunk driver. The sentence given was 8 years in prison with most of the sentence suspended. Five years of probation without any drug or alcohol use and 150 hours of community service.