Challenger Deep
Challenger Deep

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Annotation: As he struggles with schizophrenia, a teenage boy believes he is on a journey to reach the bottom of Challenger Deep, the deepest place on Earth.
Catalog Number: #119406
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Illustrator: Shusterman, Brendan,
Pages: 308 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-113414-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-94063-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-113414-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-94063-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2014009664
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Subject Heading:
Schizophrenia. Fiction.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
The surreal fantasies of fifteen-year-old Caden Bosch commingle with more comprehensible accounts of family and school, until his parents have him admitted to a psychiatric ward. The disorientation Shusterman evokes through the first-person narration is an apt, effective way to bring readers into nightmarish anxiety and despair--and out of it. The novel is moving, but it's also funny, with dry, insightful humor.
School Library Journal Starred Review
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
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*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.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Caden Bosch is fifteen, fiercely intelligent, and an aspiring artist who enjoys illustrating the computer games he and his friends create. He is also schizophrenic, drifting further from the present and deeper into his own mind until he is living in dual realities, both frightening and confusing. When retreating from family and friends, Caden imagines himself on a ship with an Ahab-like captain, sailing toward Earth's deepest, darkest place. This nautical narrative portrays his illness and reveals increasing anxiety and conflict, as the captain promises glory for Caden's loyalty, but the captain's parrot's declarations of mutiny as salvation are equally convincing. Caden is admitted to a psychiatric unit, where the patients and staff resemble Caden's shipmates, contemporaries, and voyage, and he realizes treatment and stability must be his choice alone.Readers desiring immediate context may find Caden's use of present tense and lack of transitions confusing, but his dual narratives soon become interwoven and engrossing, with commentary hilarious and poignant. Further, Caden's journey is strikingly conveyed by the numerous abstract illustrations throughout the novel, and rationales for his unconventional actions acquire unexpected reasonableness. Caden's delusions and uncertainty, along with the awkwardness of family and friends when with him, create a thoroughly realistic story, made more believable by the lack of quick answers or cures and the emphasis on the face that schizophrenia is controlled, not cured. Both male and female readers will find this compelling while acquiring a deeper compassion and understanding of the condition, especially after learning this is essentially the story of Shusterman's son, who also illustrated the novel.Lisa A. Hazlett.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages [312-313]).
Word Count: 75,150
Reading Level: 5.5
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.5 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 175998 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.3 / points:19.0 / quiz:Q66256
Lexile: HL800L
Guided Reading Level: R

National Book Award and Golden Kite Award Winner

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."


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