Challenger Deep is an award-winning Young Adult novel written by Neal Shusterman about the struggles of a mentally ill teen. Released in April of this year, the novel won the National Book Award for Young Persons Literature this past November. After the win, the book became the centre of a bidding war over the film rights. Chernin Entertainment emerged as the winner, with funds coming from their discretionary fund through 20th Century Fox. Chernin Entertainment is the company behind hits like New Girl and The Heat.
The novel is about a 15-year old protagonist, Caden Bosch, who suffers from schizophrenia, and who imagines that he is on a pirate ship, travelling across the Pacific. Bosch is largely based off of Brendan, Schusterman's son, and features Brendan's illustrations throughout the book. Brendan was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was only 16, and the artwork used in the novel was selected from pieces completed while he was in the middle of a schizophrenic episode. The story moves between objective reality and the world within Bosch's head in an incredibly powerful way. Challenger Deep is an empathetic and captivating novel, one that does convey the challenges faced by those who are mentally ill in a relatable, and darkly humorous, way.
Other works authored by Schusterman include the Unwind trilogy, and The Schwa Was Here, which was also award-winning, picking up both the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the California Young Reader Award.
Schusterman himself will be penning the script, and will co-produce the film along with Chernin and Trevor Engelson, from Underground.
What do you think? Are you excited for what is looking like another awesome YA novel-to-film adaptation?