Thoughtfully researched, expertly crafted.




An in-depth account of a harrowing real-life mission that succeeds against all odds.

This book logs the 18 days that elapsed in the summer of 2018 as 12 boys—all members of the Wild Boars soccer team—and their coach were trapped inside Tham Luang Nang Non, or the Cave of the Sleeping Lady, after it flooded in northern Thailand. The world watched as a daring rescue ensued. Instructive on many levels, the present-tense narration re-creates the hair-raising suspense and tension, rendering details of the extreme dangers of dive rescues and the seemingly insurmountable logistical challenges created by the landscape and heavy rainfall. The text recounts the events, techniques, and diverse individuals involved in this struggle while retaining an urgency that propels page turns with bated breath despite the foreknowledge that the trapped team will survive, but one retired Thai Navy SEAL sacrifices his life. Color photos abound, and interspersed text boxes, diagrams, and maps pace the flow of information with salient data, distilling contextual background on related topics including cave formations, makeshift hydraulic engineering, Buddhism and spirituality, local geography, and the plight of Thailand’s stateless people, which included the coach and several players. Masterful storytelling fleshes out the complex human emotions behind key decisions, illuminates diplomatic and political negotiations, and underscores an unwavering faith—in maintaining hope and in harnessing powers of the mind.

Thoughtfully researched, expertly crafted. (author’s note, source notes, bibliography, image credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0945-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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A slim volume big on historical information and insight.



A wide-ranging exploration of World War I and how it changed the United States forever.

Students who know anything about history tend to know other wars better—the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam. But it was World War I that changed America and ushered in a new role for the United States as a world political and economic leader. Two million Americans were sent to the war, and in the 19 months of involvement in Europe, 53,000 Americans were killed in battle, part of the staggering total death toll of 10 million, a war of such magnitude that it transformed the governments and economies of every major participant. Osborne’s straightforward text is a clear account of the war itself and various related topics—African-American soldiers, the Woman’s Peace Party, the use of airplanes as weapons for the first time, trench warfare, and the sinking of the Lusitania. Many archival photographs complement the text, as does a map of Europe (though some countries are lost in the gutter). A thorough bibliography includes several works for young readers. A study of World War I offers a context for discussing world events today, so this volume is a good bet for libraries and classrooms—a well-written treatment that can replace dry textbook accounts.

A slim volume big on historical information and insight. (timeline, source notes, credits) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2378-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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A somewhat thoughtful but unnecessary adaptation.



The 2019 guide to grammar and usage from the copy chief of Random House is adapted for young readers.

Why should young readers care about usage? Because, writes Dreyer, “What you write and how you write it tells readers as much about you as a selfie. You don’t post every selfie you take, do you?” This observation sets the tone for the tweaks and massages made to refashion the proudly fussbudgety original for a presumably more skeptical audience. Most of the author’s adventures in copy editing have been excised from this volume, though many of the discursive footnotes remain. Also deleted is any mention of sex, even though the original treatment is fairly nonprurient, and excising gonorrhea and syphilis from the chapter on oft-misspelled words is arguably an irresponsible favoring of prudery over health literacy. But most of the changes appear aimed at making the content seem relevant: “Great writers of the twentieth century like Edith Wharton, Theodore Dreiser, and William Faulkner” is now “Great writers of the twenty-first century like Louis Sachar, Rebecca Stead, and Lois Lowry.” Some of these swaps smack of desperation: “ ‘Hey Ya!’ is a classic pop song by OutKast” instead of “ ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ is a classic pop song by the Beach Boys.” Long, syntactically complicated sentences abound, calling into question the whole enterprise. Readers eager to tackle them will be just as happy, if not happier, with the original.

A somewhat thoughtful but unnecessary adaptation. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-17680-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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