Neal Shusterman Award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and television writer

About the Author

Neal Shusterman is the New York Times best-selling author of over thirty novels for children, teens, and adults.  He won the 2015 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for Challenger Deep-and his novel, Scythe, was a 2017 Michael L. Printz Honor book, and is in development with Universal Studios as a feature film.  His novel, Unwind, has become part of the literary canon in many school districts across the country-and has won more than thirty domestic and international awards. Shusterman is currently co-writing the pilot episode of Netflix’s adaption of his “timely, speculative thought experiment in perspective, privilege, and identity” (Kirkus Reviews), Game Changer, while his harrowing tale of survival, Dry, is in development at Paramount Pictures. His most recent addition to the Arc of the Scythe series, Gleanings, has been called “One for the legions of fans of this world” by Kirkus Reviews. 

Shusterman has also received awards from organizations such as the International Reading Association, and the American Library Association, and has garnered a myriad of state and local awards across the country. His talents range from film directing, to writing music and stage plays, and has even tried his hand at creating games.

Shusterman has earned a reputation as a storyteller and dynamic speaker. As a speaker, he is in constant demand at schools and conferences. Degrees in both psychology and drama give him a unique approach to writing, and his novels 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. Neal lives in Jacksonville, Florida, but spends much of his time traveling the world speaking, and signing books for readers.


Suggested Topics

  • Writing at the beginning, and the positive influence of school and teachers.
  • Various forms of writing: books, games, film and TV.
  • The importance of creativity and imagination in all aspects of life.
  • The process of writing, and more importantly rewriting.
  • How the publishing and entertainment industries work—the process of creating a book, TV show or film, from the writer’s perspective.
  • The practical aspects of a career as a writer.
  • Where ideas come from, using some of his own stories as examples.
  • Using a combination of experience, imagination, and research when writing.

Raves and Reviews

Praise for The Toll

A furiously paced finale that reaches for the stars.”

Kirkus Reviews

Nothing else like it out there… Readers will want to be here to see how it ends.”


Shusterman weaves together story lines of old and new characters to create an explosive series end… Fans of the first two books will be (and have been) clamoring for this finale. Get it to them as soon as possible.”

School Library Journal

The stellar conclusion to Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy is a gripping adventure that never stops building momentum.”

Publishers Weekly


Praise for Challenger Deep 

A brilliant journey across the dark sea of mental illness; frightening, sensitive, and powerful. Simply extraordinary.”

Laurie Halse Anderson, award-winning author of Speak

Haunting, unforgettable, and life-affirming all at once.”


An adventure in perspective as well as plot, this unusual foray into schizophrenia should leave readers with a deeper understanding of the condition.”

Kirkus Reviews

Teens, especially fans of the author’s other novels, will enjoy this book. This affecting deep dive into the mind of a schizophrenic will captivate readers, engender empathy for those with mental illnesses, and offer much fodder for discussion.”

School Library Journal

A powerful collaboration…[Caden’s] story turns symptoms into lived reality in ways readers won’t easily forget.

Publishers Weekly


Praise for Unwind

Well-written, this draws the readers into a world that is both familiar and strangely foreign, and generates feelings of horror, disturbance, disgust and fear. As with classics such as “1984” and “Fahrenheit 451″, one can only hope that this vision of the future never becomes reality.”

Kirkus Reviews

The power of the novel lies in what it doesn’t do: come down explicitly on one side or the other.”

The New York Times Book Review

A thought-provoking, well-paced read that will appeal widely.”

School Library Journal

Following in the footsteps of Jonathan Swift, Shusterman uncorks a Modest Proposal of his own to solve a Pro-Life/Pro-Choice dilemma…ingeniously developed cast and premise.”


Gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller…The issues raised could not be more provocative–the sanctity of life, the meaning of being human–while the delivery could hardly be more engrossing or better aimed to teens.”

Publishers Weekly

In the Media


Books by Neal Shusterman

Get Your Book On!
Thief of Souls
Scorpion Shards
Shattered Sky
Chasing Forgiveness
Ultimate Unwind Paperback Collection (Boxed Set)
All Better Now
Skinjacker Paperback Trilogy (Boxed Set)
Skinjacker Trilogy (Boxed Set)
Ultimate Unwind Hardcover Collection (Boxed Set)
Arc of a Scythe Collection (Boxed Set)
Arc of a Scythe Paperback Collection (Boxed Set)
Violent Ends
Game Changer

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