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.
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, NCCopyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
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. (Oct.)Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.