58 pages 1 hour read

Christina Soontornvat

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

Nonfiction | Book | Middle Grade | Published in 2020

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Historical Context: Media Coverage

As the days passed at Tham Luang, with rescuers planning and strategizing about how to reach and rescue the boys, news outlets flocked to base camp, and the world tuned in to see what would happen. More than 60,000 volunteers from around the globe gathered at Tham Luang to help in any way they could. Thai leaders called in many specialists from all over the world, such as highly experienced cave divers and water diversion experts. The international presence at base camp meant that many countries became invested in the story, and more than 1,300 reporters came to Tham Luang to document events as they unfolded.

Although the 2018 World Cup was happening at the same time, the Thai cave rescue received front-page media coverage as a global audience tuned in for every update on the state of the trapped boys. Images and videos of their ordeal, like those that Rick Stanton and John Volanthen captured upon discovering all 12 boys and their coach alive in the cave, captured the world’s sympathy and attention. The boys’ plight offered a story with a definitive beginning, middle, and end, much like a film. The story included likeable characters, suspense, and the hope for a positive outcome.