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."
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
With this simultaneously fascinating and terrifying story, author Neal Shusterman makes us viscerally feel what it’s like to descend into the depths of schizophrenia. Challenger Deep is made up of two intertwining plots: teenager Caden Bosch’s increasingly strange everyday existence, and the reality that exists in his mind, where he’s aboard a nightmarish ship with a cruel, Ahab-like captain, headed for the bottom of the deepest trench in the ocean. The way the two storylines connect and dance around each other gives real insight into Caden’s state of mind. The novel feels intensely personal—and that’s because it’s based on the experiences of Shusterman’s son, who created the book’s illustrations while undergoing schizophrenic episodes. Brilliant and spine-tingling, this book will give readers of any age a deeper understanding of this perplexing mental illness.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book captures the many aspects of life, from confusion and self conflict. Love, fear, and dread. This book is a winding tale that will hook you from the very beginning, and change the way you view life.
This book was absolutely amazing and it taught me so much. It got a little confusing, but i’m only fifteen. I would definitely read it again and I recommend to people who are intros in psychology or just in a cool book. :)
this has to be the best book about mental illness, i haven't read much before but i was so sucked into this i finished it in 3 days and it completely changed my mood from depressed to at peace each time i settled down to read, everything about this book is beautiful and everything fits together perfectly and the bits and pieces of the story start slowly falling into place and it's so stunning i wish i hadn't've finished it so i could keep reading, i feel like i'll never find a book like this