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National Book Award Winner Neal Shusterman on His Inspiration

Shusterman developed the concept for Challenger Deep after witnessing his teenage son Brendan’s struggle with schizoaffective disorder. He hopes to inspire compassion and open up the conversation about mental illness.

I don’t want to speak down to my audience or give them simplistic answers. What I want to do is pose the hard questions, questions we all grapple with….Teens are thinking about many things. If you put something out there, something meaty, they’ll dig into it. (School Library Journal)

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