Twelve Thai boys and their soccer coach bike out to a cave to explore. What they couldn’t have planned on was the rain that would flood the cave in the middle of their exploration. They are trapped deep in the cave system. The author sets the scene vividly with details of the cave, the danger of cave diving, and how elements of Thai culture and Buddhism play into people’s actions. You feel the strength of the young boys inside the cave and the perseverance of the many people from all over the world that come together to try to imagine a rescue.
This book has been up for many awards and is currently on the 2023 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award list. There is always the chance for death in this book, so young readers should be prepared for that potential outcome. The author allows the story to unfold slowly as the days pass by and the boys remain trapped. Informational side boxes are well placed to help the reader better understand the intricacies of certain moments. Don’t miss a page of this true story that riveted the world just a few short years ago.
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