cover image All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team

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

Christina Soontornvat. Candlewick, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0945-7

In her nonfiction debut, Soontornvat (Simon at the Art Museum) presents a well-researched, comprehensive look at the 2018 rescue of the Wild Boars juvenile soccer team from Thailand’s flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave. Full-color photographs and spotlighted sections introduce the 12 tight-knit players and assistant coach, the Thai officials, the rescue divers, and other volunteers who stayed for the nine days it took to safely recover all 13 trapped members. Relayed in the present tense in a documentary-style tone, the 31 short chapters move along at a riveting pace, effectively conveying emotion and sensory details and thoroughly investing the reader in the outcome. Maps and other relevant information, including how “A Cave Is Born,” “Rules to Dive By,” and “Thailand’s Stateless People,” provide more depth and background, while insight into Thailand’s culture and climate helps illustrate the serious challenges overcome by the internationally diverse group in order to accomplish the seemingly impossible rescue. Soontornvat delivers humanizing coverage of a harrowing event, attempting to decenter Western media’s lens with great success. Back matter includes an author’s note and a bibliography. Ages 8–12. [em](Oct.) [/em]