Review of Newbery Honor Book All Thirteen

Each January I participate in Multicultural Children’s Book Day. I fully support their mission of creating more awareness of the great multicultural kid literature that’s available and getting those diverse books into the hands of parents, teachers, and ultimately, kids. You can read more about MCCBD below.

This year I have the honor of reviewing a middle-grade non-fiction book that just received the Newbery Honor, All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat.

Disclaimers: I was gifted a copy of this book by Candlewick Press (MANY THANKS). All opinions expressed are my own. Also, this post contains an affiliate link to the book. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) on purchases made through the links.

I cannot stop thinking about this book! I feel honored that I get to review it for you. Although there is no way for me to do it justice. You’ll just have to get your hands on a copy. (You can click the Amazon link below.)

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team (Newbery Honor Book)

To be honest, I was kind of disappointed when I first received this book (because I didn’t know anything about it). I thought I was going to be reading a boring textbook of a historical event.

But knowing that Candlewick Press only puts out excellent books (IMHO), I knew my thinking had to be wrong.
and it certainly was!

This book is AMAZING!
There’s a reason it won a Newbery Honor along with many other awards. (Just look at that cover stamped with so many medals!)

The story itself is a riveting one. It’s the true story of a boys’ soccer team that goes on a cave exploration adventure, but torrential rains flood the cave trapping them inside for several days. Spoiler alert: it has a happy ending.

The expert way in which the author lays out the events is so well done. Soontornvat talks directly to the reader relaying the whole event in chronological order using clear detailed language.

Throughout the entire book, you feel as if you are right there at the scene.

The author also intersperses cultural information about Thailand where it makes sense in the story. This interweaving gives the reader a much deeper story experience than if they’d just heard about this event on the news or looked it up on the internet.

This book is intended for a middle-school grade audience. And the language the author uses makes this story and all the factual information totally accessible to that age range (8-12).

Having said that, as an adult, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book!

Give yourself a good chunk of time to read this book. It is a page-turner that you will want to read all in one sitting. With about 200 pages, that might be difficult to do. But I know you won’t want to put it down.

I wish I could show you all the images in this book! There are countless photographs of scenes inside the cave as well as outside. There are maps of Thailand and schematics of the caverns, which I found VERY useful.

Whether it’s through the library, your independent bookseller, or Amazon, please get your hands on a copy of this amazing book, and then share it with others.

If you’re a teacher, you may want to check out the Teacher’s Guide at Candlewick Press that has Common Core connections along with discussion questions and suggested classroom activities.

You can read about other great diverse children’s books (and get resources for your classroom or homeschool) at the giant linky put together for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. (See below)

Remember to #ReadYourWorld

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th year! This non – profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book – loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. Eight years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

FOUNDER’S CIRCLE: Mia Wenjen (Pragmaticmom) and Valarie Budayr’s ( Platinum Sponsors: Language Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages, Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media Gold Sponsors: Barefoot Books, Candlewick Press, Capstone, Hoopoe Books, KidLitTV, Peachtree Publishing Company Inc. Silver Sponsors: Charlotte Riggle, Connecticut Association of School Librarians, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Pack – N – Go Girls Bronze Sponsors: Agatha Rodi and AMELIE is IMPRESSED! , Barnes Brothers Books, Create and Educate Solutions, LLC, Dreambuilt Books, Dyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants Squared, Redfin Real Estate, Snowflake Stories, Star Bright Books, TimTimTom Bilingual Personalized Books, Author Vivian Kirkfield, Wisdom Tales Press, My Well Read Child  

MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Poster Artist: Nat Iwata Authors: Author Afsaneh Moradian, Author Alva Sachs & Three Wishes Publishing Company, Author Angeliki Stamatopoulou – Pedersen, Author Anna Olswanger, Author Casey Bell , Author Claudine Norden, Author Debbie Dadey, Author Diana Huang & Intrepids, Author Eugenia Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Green Kids Club, Author Gwen Jackson, Author Janet Balletta, Author Josh Funk, Author Julia Inserro, Karter Johnson & Popcorn and Books, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, Author Keila Dawson, M aya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Author Mia Wenjen, Michael Genhart, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Natalie Murray, Natalie McDonald – Perkins, Author Natasha Yim, Author Phe Lang and Me On The Page Publishing, Sandra Elaine Scott, Author Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustr ator Courtenay Fletcher, Tales of the Five Enchanted Mermaids, Author Theresa Mackiewicz, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Author Toshia Stelivan, Valerie Williams – Sanchez & The Cocoa Kids Collection Books©, Author Vanessa Womack, MBA, Author Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2021 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!

Pin the image below so you can always come back and find these resources!

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day


Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents

Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Activism and Activists Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Empathy Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Kindness Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Poverty Kit

Gallery of Our Free Posters

FREE Diversity Book for Classrooms Program

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