I had a busy book week. I had to finish reading two of the Cybils NF finalists to be prepared for our decision-making discussion yesterday. We had a wonderfully robust discussion. It took three hours for us to whittle down to a winner, which will be announced on Saturday, February 14th.
All this is to explain why I only almost finished one book for the HUB challenge this week. I am about 2/3 of the way through Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman.
I will admit, I had a little trouble getting into it, until I realized what was going on. Suddenly, I realized why it won the National Book Award and has gained so many other accolades. Here is Neal Shusterman’s NBA Acceptance speech.
Publisher’s Summary: 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.
A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by one of today’s most admired writers for teens.
When I was reading for the Morris Award, we saw a lot of books about teen mental illness and often discussed how hard and how rarely they give an honest picture of what it is like to have a mental illness. But Challenger Deep does. It is not an easy read, but the short, meaningful chapters pull you deeper and deeper into the story.
I highly recommend it and I think a lot of adults would enjoy it as well as teens.