Chris's Reviews > Trapped

Trapped by Marc Aronson
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's review
Mar 21, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: adventure, lis722, non-fiction, survival, ya

In early August 2010, a mine collapsed in Chile, and 33 miners were trapped 2,000 feet below the surface. For sixty-nine days, they lived on meager resources and increasingly poor air quality. When they were finally rescued, the world watched with rapt attention and rejoiced in the amazing spirit and determination of the miners. What could have been a terrible tragedy became an amazing story of survival.

My Comments:
Physically, I don’t think this is a very attractive book. The cover is dark, and the main word in the title – Trapped – is darkly shaded and at the bottom of the page beneath the rest of the title – How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet below the Chilean Desert. This makes it confusing as to what the actual title is. The book is small, wordy and has few pictures. Except for a color insert of photos in the middle of the book, the rest of the pictures are black and white. This doesn’t seem like the kind of book that kids would pick up and read without some encouragement – which is a shame, because it’s highly readable. The mine disaster and rescue efforts in themselves make for riveting reading, and the author sets up the story nicely, giving the reader a geographical history lesson of the region, the history of metal making and mines while tying in Greek mythology and even Harry Potter. Later, when the story switches to the miners and the rescue operation, there is a nice juxtaposition of the miners’ struggle to survive below ground with the frenzy of the rescue effort above ground. There is something for everyone in this book. For those who like science, there is the geology aspect, for those who love survival stories, there is the drama of the trapped minors, and for activists, there is the exposure of corrupt, neglectful system of mine operation that endangers workers to maximize profit. At the back of the book there is a ton of useful information including annotated sourcing, timeline, index, glossary, and websites. What I especially liked was a section entitled How I Wrote This Book in which the author gave some very useful research tips including how to use Google effectivey to get useful and unusual information. For older readers – late junior high and up.


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