Neal Shusterman, winner of the 2015 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for CHALLENGER DEEP, grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movie script.
In the years since, Neal has made his mark as a successful novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. As a full-time writer, he claims to be his own hardest task-master, always at work creating new stories to tell. In addition to the National Book Award, His books have received hundreds of awards and honors from organizations such as the International Literacy Association, the American Library Association, as well as garnering a myriad of state and local awards across the country. Most recently his novel SCYTHE was a 2017 Michael L. Printz Honor book, and his novel CHALLENGER DEEP, in addition to the National Book Award, Won the 2016 SCBWI Golden Kite Award, and the 2015 Boston Globe/Horn Book honor award. He has even tried his hand at creating Games, having developed three successful “How to Host a Mystery” game for teens, as well as seven “How to Host a Murder” games.
As a screen and TV writer, Neal has written for the “Goosebumps” and “Animorphs” TV series, and wrote the Disney Channel Original Movie “Pixel Perfect.” He recently sold the original TV series CRY VICTORY, which he created with his son Jarrod to Crackle, and is adapting Tesla’s Attic with co-writer Eric Elfman as an Amazon TV series.
Wherever Neal goes, he quickly earns a reputation as a storyteller and dynamic speaker. As a speaker, Neal is in constant demand at schools and conferences. Degrees in both psychology and drama give Neal a unique approach to writing. Neal’s novels always deal with topics that appeal to adults as well as teens, weaving true-to-life characters into sensitive and riveting issues, and binding it all together with a unique and entertaining sense of humor.
Of EVERLOST, School Library Journal wrote: “Shusterman has reimagined what happens after death and questions power and the meaning of charity. While all this is going on, he has also managed to write a rip-roaring adventure…”
Of UNWIND, Publishers Weekly wrote; “[A] gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller…could hardly be more engrossing or better aimed to teens.”
Of THE SCHWA WAS HERE (Winner of the 2006 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award), School Library Journal wrote: “Shusterman’s characters–reminiscent of those crafted by E. L. Konigsburg and Jerry Spinelli–are infused with the kind of controlled, precocious improbability that magically vivifies the finest children’s classics.
Of SCORPION SHARDS, Publisher’s Weekly wrote: “Shusterman takes an outlandish comic-book concept, and, through the sheer audacity and breadth of his imagination makes it stunningly believable. A spellbinder.”
And of THE EYES OF KID MIDAS, The Midwest Book Review wrote “This wins our vote as one of the best young-adult titles of the year” and was called “Inspired and hypnotically readable” by School Library Journal.