for All Thirteen
by Christina Soontornvat
The rescue of 12 young Thai soccer players and their assistant coach, trapped in Tham Luang Nang cave for more than two weeks in 2018, was an effort of compassion, courage, and international cooperation. It was a feat of technology and engineering, problem-solving and logistics. Above all, it was, and is here, a riveting human story about the 12 boys and their coach and some of the many people who worked to bring them out alive. British and other divers with the requisite cave diving experience worked with Thai and U.S. military personnel to navigate the deep water and tight passages. A Thai American engineer and entrepreneur figured out a way to stem the flow of water into the cave system. Several locals organized support services for volunteers and families of the trapped players. There was far more tension and worry than moments of triumph, especially early on, and rescue was not certain-these complexities and dangers were underscored when Thai Navy Seal Saman Kunan died. Communication was challenging, not only because of the scale of the effort but because of cultural differences between Thais and westerners. Thai American author Soontornvat was visiting family in Thaliand at the start of the crisis and she, like all of Thailand, and much of the world, followed the story closely. Her thorough research, original interviews, and nuanced cultural understanding are all essential elements to this fascinating and substantial account buoyed by photographs and other visual material. (Age 10 and older)
CCBC Choices 2021. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2021. Used with permission.
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.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.