One of my favorite young adult authors is a man named Neal Shusterman. Shusterman is one of those authors who has been around for a long time and written successful novels without being in the public eye. He has written for Disney Channel movies, as well as various episodes for Goosebumps and Animorphs. He has written over twenty children and young adult novels, including the largely successful Unwind Series.
A large theme in Shusterman’s involves is moral complexity as it pertains to sociological issues. Shusterman’s books are interesting because they observe the psychological impact of events on major and minor characters in his stories, which in turn creates more flawed and accessible characters. I think Shusterman’s educational background in psychology and theater played a substantial role in his ability to craft such psychologically intricate characters.
However, Shusterman was also inspired at a young age by a teacher. Founder of Paperback Swap, Richard Pickering wrote that “Shusterman’s inspiration for writing first came in ninth grade, when his English teacher, seeing a spark of creativity, challenged him to write a story a month.” The simple activity of writing a story every month, challenged and developed Shusterman as a writer, even though he was still at a relatively young age.