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Challenger Deep

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Challenger Deep is a deeply powerful and personal novel by New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman.

A captivating story about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, the novel features haunting interior illustrations by Neal Shusterman's son Brendan.

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."

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 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.

Customer Reviews

Love it!

Filled with heart and insight, along with great, full characters and a moving storyline. Absolutely devoid of sentimentality and stereotype. Finally a book where schizophrenia is treated with depth, love, and honesty - rather than just being thrown in as caricature and plot device.

From a young age, I've watched my sister (and family) go through the trials of this illness, and though I've searched, I've never read anything come close to how well this book portrays the reality and humanity of the experience. Much thanks to Neal and Brendan Shusterman for creating this lovely book!

the best

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


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.

Challenger Deep
View in iTunes
  • $1.99
  • Level: Ninth Grade
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Coming of Age
  • Published: Apr 21, 2015
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings