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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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 T…

Overall Book Review:

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team lives up to the “incredible” in its subtitle. The rescue, the people who made it possible, and the boys who were stranded at the center of this remarkable story are all remarkable. Christina Soontornvat brings the action of this story to life by following the rescue from several different points of view. She first introduces the reader to the soccer team and their coach, giving some details of their everyday life that should make young readers identify with the boys as being very similar to children anywhere. This inspired empathy for the young men serves to heighten the suspense and sense of peril later in the story and make it an exciting read that is hard to put down.

Throughout the pages of this book, Soontornvat shows the charitable spirit and determined persistence of the rescuers and the team of people, most volunteers, who supported them in any way they could. The individual stories are all interesting and are, for the most part, sides of the overall narrative that were not detailed on the international media coverage. Much of this story is therefore fresh and new even to an adult who followed the rescue in the news as it happened. It will certainly be engaging to a young reader who can spelunk, dive, and engineer their way through the pages of this book as they follow the heroes in their daring rescue.


Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Mention of historical instances of war and violence; report of a government killing their citizens; report of a death by disease; a death by drowning; a few tense scenes in which people are in life-threatening situations.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

War (mention); government persecution of ethnic groups; discussion of Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian faiths; death (parents, friend); kidnapping, child abuse, and human trafficking (mentions); political issues surrounding refugee status are discussed.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Drugs are used for medicinal purposes, and some details of their use are discussed; drug addiction is mentioned (in a negative context); drinking alcohol and smoking are both mentioned.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
0
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
2
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
0
10

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About the Reviewer

My taste in literature leans heavily towards sci-fi, fantasy, and (my favorite) horror, and the latter can present some fairly murky waters for parents to let their children explore. I enjoy novels of both the standard and graphic varieties. Since those genres, and graphic novels in particular, tend to appeal to boys, I hope that I can help other Boy Mommies in their quest to find books that their little video gamers--I mean, future bibliophiles will read and enjoy. When I am not reading, I enjoy tabletop role-playing games, video games, and singing karaoke. I have a wonderful husband who lets me indulge my reading habit by sharing the housework and being a great dad to our genius kids and their faithful hound.