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Challenger Deep
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Challenger Deep
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National Book Award * Golden Kite Award Winner * Six Starred ReviewsA captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New...
National Book Award * Golden Kite Award Winner * Six Starred ReviewsA captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New...
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  • National Book Award * Golden Kite Award Winner * Six Starred Reviews

    A captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman.

    Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.
    Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.

    Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence to document the journey with images.
    Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.

    Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
    Caden Bosch is torn.

    Challenger Deep is a deeply powerful and personal novel from one of today's most admired writers for teens. Laurie Halse Anderson, award-winning author of Speak, calls Challenger Deep "a brilliant journey across the dark sea of the mind; frightening, sensitive, and powerful. Simply extraordinary."

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Neal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author over thirty books, including Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award; Scythe, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book; Dry, which he co-wrote with his son, Jarrod Shusterman; Unwind, which won more than thirty domestic and international awards; Bruiser, which was on a dozen state lists; The Schwa Was Here, winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award. His latest book, Game Changer, debuted as an indie top-five best seller. You can visit him online at www.storyman.com.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine When handled well by a voice actor, an unreliable narrator is a delight--the narrator makes the listener believe in the character and then slowly reveals that all is not as it seems. Such is the work of Michael Curran-Dorsano as he narrates from the point of view of Caden Bosch, who becomes absorbed in a journey to the deepest point on Earth, in the Marianas Trench. When the teen finds himself aboard a strange ship in the ocean area known as Challenger Deep, he can't tell if it's really happening--or if he's losing his mind. Meanwhile, his friends and family grow increasingly concerned. Curran-Dorsano's soft voice works well as the internal voice for the teenaged Bosch. He keeps to a steady rhythm while also being capable of shifting his voice for other characters. L.E. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 16, 2015
    With lyricism and potent insight, Shusterman (Unwind) traces the schizophrenic descent and return of Caden Bosch, an intelligent 15-year-old and a gifted artist. His internal narratives are sometimes dreams, sometimes hallucinations, and sometimes undefinable, dominated by a galleon and its captain, sailing with an enormous, sullen crew to the deepest point of the Marianas Trench, Challenger Deep. The metaphor’s not exactly subtle, but Shusterman finds unexpected resonance in its details—the tarry seams in the wood, the human ballast. External reality still registers: people around Caden run the gamut of humor, scolding, threats, and avoidance to pressure him into changing behavior he no longer controls. Shusterman has mined personal experience of mental illness with his son Brendan, whose line drawings mirror Caden’s fragmentation in swirling lines eerily reminiscent of Van Gogh. It’s a powerful collaboration, and crucial to the novel’s credibility. As Caden says, “There is no such thing as a ‘correct’ diagnosis,” and though his story doesn’t necessarily represent a “typical” experience of mental illness, it turns symptoms into lived reality in ways readers won’t easily forget. Ages 14–up. Agent: Andrea Brown, Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from February 1, 2015

    Gr 9 Up-Caden Bosch lives in two worlds. One is his real life with his family, his friends, and high school. There he is paranoid for no reason, thinks people are trying to kill him, and demonstrates obsessive compulsive behaviors. In his other world, he's part of the crew for a pirate captain on a voyage to the Challenger Deep, the ocean's deepest trench. There he's paranoid, wary of the mercurial captain and his mutinous parrot, and tries hard to interpret the mutterings of his fellow shipmates as they sail uncharted waters toward unknown dangers. Slowly, Caden's fantasy and paranoia begin to take over, until his parents have only one choice left. Shusterman's latest novel gives readers a look at teen mental illness from inside the mind of Caden Bosch. He is a credible and sympathetic character, and his retreat into his own flawed mind is fascinating, full of riddles and surrealism. Shusterman based the novel on his son's mental illness, and Brendan's input regarding his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and psychiatric care makes the novel ring true. Teens, especially fans of the author's other novels, will enjoy this book. VERDICT This affecting deep dive into the mind of a schizophrenic will captivate readers, engender empathy for those with mental illnesses, and offer much fodder for discussion.-Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from February 1, 2015
    Fantasy becomes reality in an exploration of mental illness based partly on the experiences of the author's son, who is also the book's illustrator. For 14-year-old Caden Bosch, his gradual descent into schizophrenia is a quest to reach the bottom of Challenger Deep, the deepest place on Earth. In an internal reality that's superimposed over Caden's real life-where his behavior slips from anxiety to hearing voices and compulsively obeying signage-an Ahab-like captain promises riches in exchange for allegiance, while his parrot urges mutiny for a chance at life ashore. Shusterman unmoors readers with his constant use of present tense and lack of transitions, but Caden's nautical hallucination-turned-subplot becomes clearer once his parents commit him to Seaview Hospital's psychiatric unit with its idiosyncratic crew of patients and staff. However, Caden's disorientation and others' unease also make the story chillingly real. Except in the heights of Caden's delusions, nothing is romanticized-just off-kilter enough to show how easily unreality acquires its own logic and wit. The illustrator, who has struggled with mental illness himself, charts the journey with abstract line drawings that convey Caden's illness as well as his insight. When the depths are revealed with a dream-logic twist and Caden chooses an allegiance, the sea becomes a fine metaphor for a mind: amorphous and tumultuous but ultimately navigable. An adventure in perspective as well as plot, this unusual foray into schizophrenia should leave readers with a deeper understanding of the condition. (author's note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from February 1, 2015
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Award-winning author Shusterman returns to realistic fiction with a breathtaking exploration of one teen's experience with schizophrenia. Caden Bosch thinks there is somebody at his high school who wants to kill him. But that's not all. There are things happening outside of the typical space and time constraints that he can't understand. He feels at once all-powerful and frighteningly powerless. Caden slowly drifts away from friends and family and deeper into his mind, until his parents admit him to a mental hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Shusterman beautifully deploys dual narratives that become increasingly intertwined in this remarkable story. In addition to the grounded-in-reality narrative, he introduces another world, where Caden is out at sea with the Captain, a girl named Calliope, a parrot, and more. All of these characters eventually match real-world counterparts in the hospital and beyond. In confessional back matter, Shusterman explains his inspiration for this powerful story: his own son Brendan's experience in the depths of mental illness. Brendan Shusterman's illustrations, interspersed throughout, contribute significantly to the reading experience. With the increasing demand for understanding mental illness, this is a must-purchase for library collections. Haunting, unforgettable, and life affirming all at once. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: An author tour and powerhouse promotional plan will mean lots of attention for best-selling Shusterman's latest endeavor.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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