December 8, 2020

Review: All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat

Title: All Thirteen

Author: Christina Soontornvat

Genre: Narrative Nonfiction

About the Book

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.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book.  I've gotten into nonfiction lately, and this one was just what I was looking for.  I remember very well when the story was all over the news and hoping they all got out ok. It was very exciting when we knew they were all safe, but I often wondered what it was like for them while the rescue took place.  This book answered all those questions and then some. I really felt like I  understood what led up to them being trapped, the rescue and after. The author did an amazing job bringing in the details, but not weighting it down with them. The book didn't seem dense and hard to get through.  I'm sure all the photographs and illustrations helped! Those were great too.  They really added to my understanding of what happened. 

To note also - there were sidebar parts that helped explain some of the culture, and I really liked that. It gave me a more complete understanding of the events and the people involved. 

I'm glad I picked this book up! If you want to learn more about this story, or wants to learn about the incredible dedication and courage of all involved I highly suggest you read this book. 

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