BURIED ALIVE! by Elaine Scott


How 33 Miners Survived 69 Days Deep Under the Chilean Desert
Age Range: 10 - 14
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On August 5, 2010, a copper mine in Chile collapsed, trapping 33 miners nearly half a mile underground.

Shifting the focus back and forth between the plight of the buried miners and the rescue efforts underway at the surface, Scott creates a riveting tale. She describes the choices the miners’ strong leader advised that prolonged their survival long enough to be rescued and the creative solutions that effected that rescue. They drilled through over 2,000 feet of especially hard rock, delivered supplies to the trapped men through a tiny bore hole and then invented a way to carry the men, one at a time, to the surface in a very small capsule. Evocative color photographs on almost every page enhance the brief text. The narrative moves step by step through the events that led up to the collapse, follows the efforts of the trapped miners to sustain life by rationing their extremely limited resources and describes the effect of the accident on their families. It also covers the development of a vibrant tent city at the rescue location, the ingenious strategies developed by the rescuers and finally the lasting impact on the survivors, many of whom remain unemployed.

An engaging, suspenseful look at a tragedy averted that also provides a glimpse of a challenging way of life. Pair this with Marc Aronson’s more in-depth Trapped (2011). (glossary, author’s note, additional websites) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-547-70778-5
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2012


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