Sunday, April 29, 2018

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman - ADVISABLE

Shusterman, Neal Challenger Deep, 308 pages. FICTION Harper Collins Publisher, 2015. $18. Language: PG (2 swears, 0-F) Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG

Caden Bosch is sometimes a bright high school students and other times he is an artist on a ship heading for the Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the ocean. This is Caden’s journey through reality and hallucinations, and sometimes it is hard for him, and for the reader, to know the difference. This story follows Caden on a journey of discovery through his mind, through hallucinations and confusion. At times it is hard to separate reality from illusion. This story takes the reader on an often confusing journey through mental illness. It is so for the person who is suffering from mental illness and also for the people surrounding that person. Caden’s journey is full of misunderstandings, illusions and hallucinations. Caden tells his parents he joined the school track team when he really did not. He walks for hours and forgets to eat, losing a lot of weight. At the same time inside his mind he lives in a mixture of reality and hallucinations.

I tried reading this book many times, but ended up putting it down. I read a lot of Neal Shusterman’s other books, and read about Neal Shusterman. I learned that his son suffers from mental illness. That knowledge changed my perspective. I read the book and could not put it down. I found it fascinating. It also gave me a better understanding of mental illness. All the illustrations in the book are done by his son, Brendan Shusterman.

HS – ADVISABLE Ellen-Anita- Library Teacher

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