All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team
All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team

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Annotation: "On June 23, 2018, twelve young players of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach enter a cave in northern Thailand seeking an afternoon's adventure. But when they turn to leave, rising floodwaters block their path out. The boys are trapped! Before long, news of the missing team spreads, launching a seventeen-day rescue operation involving thousands of rescuers from around the globe. Combining firsthand interviews of rescue workers with in- depth science and details of the region's culture and religion, [the author]...masterfully shows how both the complex engineering operation above ground and the mental struggles of the thir
Catalog Number: #289648
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 280 pages,
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-536-20945-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-9755-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-536-20945-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-9755-9
Dewey: 796.52
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
An author of picture books, easy readers, and middle-grade novels, Soontornvat (A Wish in the Dark, rev. 5/20) here presents a compelling work of nonfiction. On June 23, 2018, in Mae Sai, Thailand, twelve members of a youth soccer team and their coach decided to explore a nearby cave after practice. After venturing several miles in, they found themselves trapped by floods caused by unseasonably early monsoon rains. As Thailand marshaled international resources, the world watched the drama unfold. The rescue -- all thirteen survived -- would be nothing short of miraculous. In lucid prose written in third-person-present tense for a heightened sense of immediacy, Soontornvat gives readers a journalistic account of the difficulty and complexity of the rescue effort. Using interviews and other primary sources, she keeps a tight focus on the unfolding story, with its inherent edge-of-your-seat, heart-in-your-throat drama, adroitly juggling a parade of characters, clearly laying out the technical and engineering challenges, and judiciously parsing out expository information in the occasional sidebar. The rescue effort brought out the best in humanity, and inspiring messages of teamwork, cooperation, sacrifice (the death of a Thai diver is covered in a chapter called "A Tragic Loss"), loyalty, faith, and hope abound in these pages. Liberally illustrated throughout with full-color illustrations and maps; an author's note, source notes, a bibliography, and an index are appended. (See Marc Aronson's Rising Water, rev. 5/19, for another account of the same events.)
Kirkus Reviews
An in-depth account of a harrowing real-life mission that succeeds against all odds.This book logs the 18 days that elapsed in the summer of 2018 as 12 boys—all members of the Wild Boars soccer team—and their coach were trapped inside Tham Luang Nang Non, or the Cave of the Sleeping Lady, after it flooded in northern Thailand. The world watched as a daring rescue ensued. Instructive on many levels, the present-tense narration re-creates the hair-raising suspense and tension, rendering details of the extreme dangers of dive rescues and the seemingly insurmountable logistical challenges created by the landscape and heavy rainfall. The text recounts the events, techniques, and diverse individuals involved in this struggle while retaining an urgency that propels page turns with bated breath despite the foreknowledge that the trapped team will survive, but one retired Thai Navy SEAL sacrifices his life. Color photos abound, and interspersed text boxes, diagrams, and maps pace the flow of information with salient data, distilling contextual background on related topics including cave formations, makeshift hydraulic engineering, Buddhism and spirituality, local geography, and the plight of Thailand’s stateless people, which included the coach and several players. Masterful storytelling fleshes out the complex human emotions behind key decisions, illuminates diplomatic and political negotiations, and underscores an unwavering faith—in maintaining hope and in harnessing powers of the mind.Thoughtfully researched, expertly crafted. (author’s note, source notes, bibliography, image credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-15)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 4-7 In 2018, 12 members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their assistant coach were trapped in a cave for 18 days. It was a stunning and miraculous story that captivated the world. On June 23, 2018, the team and their assistant coach decided to hike through the caverns of Tham Luang Nang Non, the Cave of the Sleeping Lady. However, when they tried to leave, they discovered that the cave was flooded and they were trapped. Soontornvat's narrative nonfiction account shares these events and those that led to the rescue along with intricate details about caverns, sump diving, and other scientific details that emphasize the harrowing conditions of the rescue. She also touches on Thai culture, immigration issues, Buddhism, and religion. The main rescuers and their heroic efforts are highlighted, but Soontornvat also showcases stories of the Thai volunteers who had a huge impact on the rescue. Full-color photographs, maps, illustrations, and graphs are included throughout the text. The author, who is Thai American, was in northern Thailand visiting family when the story first broke. Her author's note features background information about interviewing the people involved with the rescue and meeting the Wild Boars team. Extensive source notes are included as well as a bibliography, image credits, and an index. VERDICT This stellar nonfiction work reads like a heart-pounding adventure story. Every library should have a copy. V. Lynn Christiansen, Wiley International Studies Magnet Elem. Sch., Raleigh, NC
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
An in-depth account of a harrowing real-life mission that succeeds against all odds.This book logs the 18 days that elapsed in the summer of 2018 as 12 boys—all members of the Wild Boars soccer team—and their coach were trapped inside Tham Luang Nang Non, or the Cave of the Sleeping Lady, after it flooded in northern Thailand. The world watched as a daring rescue ensued. Instructive on many levels, the present-tense narration re-creates the hair-raising suspense and tension, rendering details of the extreme dangers of dive rescues and the seemingly insurmountable logistical challenges created by the landscape and heavy rainfall. The text recounts the events, techniques, and diverse individuals involved in this struggle while retaining an urgency that propels page turns with bated breath despite the foreknowledge that the trapped team will survive, but one retired Thai Navy SEAL sacrifices his life. Color photos abound, and interspersed text boxes, diagrams, and maps pace the flow of information with salient data, distilling contextual background on related topics including cave formations, makeshift hydraulic engineering, Buddhism and spirituality, local geography, and the plight of Thailand’s stateless people, which included the coach and several players. Masterful storytelling fleshes out the complex human emotions behind key decisions, illuminates diplomatic and political negotiations, and underscores an unwavering faith—in maintaining hope and in harnessing powers of the mind.Thoughtfully researched, expertly crafted. (author’s note, source notes, bibliography, image credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-15)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* In summer 2018, the eyes of the world were on Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand, where the coach and 12 members of a boys' soccer team, the Wild Boars, became trapped in a flooding cavern. Through a chronological narrative as thrilling as any fiction, Soontornvat (A Wish in the Dark, 2020) recounts the 18-day saga, from the team's carefree excursion to their harrowing captivity and miraculous rescue, which involved an international coalition of thousands, led d this is key Thai civilians, soldiers, and engineers. The staggering scope of contributions is organized with perfect clarity, integrated seamlessly into the tale. As readers are guided through all the factoring risks, technologies, and strategies, they will get to know several key players, whose interactions are contextualized by precisely timed asides illuminating Thai culture, from Buddhism to soccer to social etiquette, all critical to understanding the complexities of the operation. Soontornvat selects details and measures her pacing with the practiced hand of a master storyteller, and while everything is supported by meticulous research, the prose never suffers from information density; rather, every aside ether on hypothermia, ketamine, or Navy SEAL training ds tension through understanding. Readers who already know the outcome will nonetheless be enthralled by this singular tale that captures the importance of STEM education, the beauty of Thailand, and the best of humanity llaboration, innovation, sacrifice, family, and love.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (8/1/20)
Starred Review for Horn Book (9/1/20)
School Library Journal Starred Review (9/1/20)
Kirkus Reviews
Newbery Honor (9/1/20)
Robert Sibert Honor (9/1/20)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 271-272) and index.
Word Count: 42,568
Reading Level: 7.2
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.2 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 510084 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 1020L
Guided Reading Level: L

A 2021 Newbery Honor Book
A 2021 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
A 2021 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist


A unique account of the amazing Thai cave rescue told in a heart-racing, you-are-there style that blends suspense, science, and cultural insight.

On June 23, 2018, twelve young players of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach enter a cave in northern Thailand seeking an afternoon’s adventure. But when they turn to leave, rising floodwaters block their path out. The boys are trapped! Before long, news of the missing team spreads, launching a seventeen-day rescue operation involving thousands of rescuers from around the globe. As the world sits vigil, people begin to wonder: how long can a group of ordinary kids survive in complete darkness, with no food or clean water? Luckily, the Wild Boars are a very extraordinary "ordinary" group. Combining firsthand interviews of rescue workers with in-depth science and details of the region's culture and religion, author Christina Soontornvat—who was visiting family in Northern Thailand when the Wild Boars went missing—masterfully shows how both the complex engineering operation above ground and the mental struggles of the thirteen young people below proved critical in the life-or-death mission. Meticulously researched and generously illustrated with photographs, this page-turner includes an author’s note describing her experience meeting the team, detailed source notes, and a bibliography to fully immerse readers in the most ambitious cave rescue in history.


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