Wednesday, February 24, 2021

All Thirteen by Christina Soontornvat - ESSENTIAL

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat
, 280 pages. NON-FICTION Candlewick Press, 2020. $25 

Language: G (0 swears, 0 'f'); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (Peril) 



In June of 2018, 12 boys from a local soccer team and one of their coaches hike into a cave in northern Thailand. While inside, the cave floods and they are trapped. Soon, word spreads that the boys didn't come home, when a search of the village locates their bikes at the mouth of the cave a rescue effort begins, with rescuers and help coming from all over the world. But the boys aren't easy to reach, and no one is sure they are even still alive. 

I remember following this story while it was happening, and it was an amazing experience getting all the details filled in. Soontornvat's narrative is engaging and exciting. I loved the side bars describing the background of the prominent rescuers, as well as information about Thailand culture and religion. Full of captioned color photographs that bring the reader right to the cave, "All Thirteen" includes an author's note - Soontornvat happened to be in Thailand while this was all happening, index and sources.

Lisa Librarian

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