Further Reading: Cave Rescues


As rescuers race to save the remaining five boys trapped in a Thai cave system, audiences around the world are following the crisis with hope and trepidation. The rescue effort has brought together international military teams, rescue workers, diving experts, and Elon Musk, who is contributing a mini-submarine.

For readers interested in other harrowing tales of rescue and survival, we compiled the following recommended titles, linked to their excerpted Booklist reviews.



After Disasters cover

After Disasters, by Viet Dinh

O. Henry Prize winner and first-time novelist Dinh drops four fictional characters into the tragic aftermath of the real-life January 2001 cataclysmic earthquake in Gujarat, India. The result is a tale that explores the efficacy of international aid, the price of survival, and the cost of love in an ever-shifting global world filled with conflict, catastrophes, and failed connections.






Between a Rock and a Hard Place coverBetween a Rock and a Hard Place, by Aron Ralston

With precious little water or food, his right arm pinned for nearly five days by a boulder in a narrow canyon shaft in central-eastern Utah, Ralston amputated the arm with his pocketknife, then rappelled and hiked his way to his own rescue. What makes his account of his ordeal extraordinary, too, is the detail and precision Ralston, a former mechanical engineer, brings to the telling.


Beyond the Deep coverBeyond the Deep: The Deadly Descent into the World’s Most Treacherous Cave, by William Stone

Set in stygian gloom, this account of a 1994 caving expedition in southern Mexico produces what adventure readers crave: danger, dissension, death, and ultimate success.  The technicalities of this death-defying recreation, and the raw honesty with which this episode is depicted, will win over extreme-sport fans.






Deep Down Dark coverDeep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free, by Héctor Tobar

In 2007, the world was riveted by news that 33 men were trapped in a mine thousands of miles beneath the surface in a remote part of Chile. Tobar details the harrowing rescue and the emotional and spiritual resolve the men drew on as they struggled to survive in what they thought would be their coffin.


Lost in Shangri-la coverLost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II, by Mitchell Zuckoff

A survivors’ story from WWII, the tale Zuckoff relays contains a story line seemingly lifted from Hollywood. This scenario of an American plane crash in New Guinea in 1945 provoked prodigious publicity at the time, but the entire, true drama has never before been as comprehensively presented as it is here.






Big Bear's Cave coverBig Brown Bear’s Cave, by Yoval Zummer

“Big Brown Bear can’t get comfortable in his new cave, and so he decides to try filling it with “stuff” like humans do. Unfortunately, he overdoes it, filling his cave so full  that he gets stuck. Fortunately, he has (ursine) friends to push, pull, and pry until he’s able to escape.”


Bonus: “Jessica, From the Well,” by Lucie Brock-Broido

A narrative poem about Jessica McClure, who, as a toddler, was trapped at the bottom of a 22-foot well for 58 hours.

About the Author:

I'm a summer intern with Booklist and an MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University.

Post a Comment