GUEST WRITER RYAN CORMIER RECOMMENDS ALL THIRTEEN: THE INCREDIBLE CAVE RESCUE OF THE THAI BOYS’ SOCCER TEAM BY CHRISTINA SOONTORNVAT
Two and a half miles down the pitch-black, flooded cave of Tham Luang, Thailand, a local boys soccer team (aged 11-16) and their assistant coach were trapped for 18 days (most of that time without food). They were found and rescued by being anesthetized and guided out individually by a team of cave divers.
Christina Soontornvat’s book All Thirteen reveals how an international team of experts and amateurs, Navy SEALs and local villagers, citizens and stateless people, came together in 2018 to make the impossible possible. Battling torrential rains, floods, stalagmites, darkness, cultural differences and skepticism, the team accomplished rescuing ‘all thirteen’ and doing something that had never been done before: a cave-diving rescue. This story shows us that when we work together, plan carefully, practice meticulously, act decisively and take risks instinctually, we can make miracles happen. Highly informative, All Thirteen also shares an in-depth analyses of professions like caving, diving, geology and search and rescue while also introducing the reader to Thailand, exploring its cultures, economy, geography and social issues.
Soontornvat weaves all of this into a thought-provoking, suspenseful narrative, following the dual perspectives of the rescuers on the surface and the boys’ experiences underground. What this does is not only humanize the event but also highlights the boys’ resolve, showing that we must never underestimate the will of children. An informative read covering many interests, along with a nail-bitingly engaging style, this book may appeal to the non-fiction readers in your class or students who want to learn more about world events. It’s worth noting that the book does contain mature subjects like suicide, xenophobia, death and starvation, therefore, it may be prudent to recommend this title to readers in your class who are ready for such content.
The recommendation’s author, Ryan Cormier, is currently a Bachelor of Education student, studying at the University of New Brunswick. He originally hails from Bathurst, New Brunswick but has hung his hat in many different places over the years.