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)