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

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Written by Christina Soontornvat

IT’S JUNE 23, 2018—a hot, cloudy day in northern Thailand. Twelve young players of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach head into a local cave after practice. They plan to spend only an hour or two exploring, but outside, rain has begun pouring down, and 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 night after night, 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 material from community interviews with in-depth science content and details about the region’s culture and religion, All Thirteen paints two scenes of unflagging perseverance: Aboveground, a global rescue team of military personnel, engineers, medics, cave divers, and other volunteers races to find the trapped boys. Almost half a mile below, a similarly heroic effort is taking place in the quiet darkness as the Wild Boars focus on conserving their energy and oxygen, and—most importantly—keeping their hopes up. Both the boys and their rescuers will soon prove to the world that even in the face of impossible odds, the human spirit is an irrepressible force.

2021 Newbery Honor Book

2021 Sibert Honor Book

YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist

National Council for the Teaching of English 2020 Orbis Pictus Honor Book

Bank Street College Flora Stieglitz Straus Book Award for Older Readers

SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction for Older Readers

Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, The New York Public Library, BookPage, and Shelf Awareness

The recipient of SEVEN starred trade reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, School Library Journal, The Horn Book, Shelf Awareness, Publishers Weekly, and BookPage.