Buried Alive!: How 33 Miners Survived 69 Days Deep Under the Chilean Desert


In August 2010, thirty-three miners were buried alive, two thousand feet below the
surface of the earth. After seventeen tense days, just as hope was nearly gone, rescuers
made contact with the men. Joy broke out around the world—all thirty-three men
were alive! But it would be long weeks before they ...

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In August 2010, thirty-three miners were buried alive, two thousand feet below the
surface of the earth. After seventeen tense days, just as hope was nearly gone, rescuers
made contact with the men. Joy broke out around the world—all thirty-three men
were alive! But it would be long weeks before they emerged from the mine.
What did the miners feel, trapped in the steamy darkness so far underground?
What did they eat? How did they get along? And most important, how did they survive
in those seventeen days when death lingered so near, and after, during the long
wait for rescue?

This amazing true story about problem-solving, community, and real-life heroes is
made kid-friendly by veteran nonfiction writer Elaine Scott. It will inspire for years to

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An engaging, suspensful look at a tragedy averted that also provides a glimpse of a challenging way of life."—Kirkus Reviews

"This dramatic account is a rock-solid case study in the power of a collaborative frame of mind."—Booklist

"This well-organized treatment hits just the right tone for middle-grade readers."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
In October 2010 the world watched as thirty-three miners were brought to the earth's surface after being trapped underground for over two months; this is their story. Beginning with a brief history of mining and the Chilean region where the action takes place, the reader is given a better understanding of what lead to the ordeal and how the rescue unfolded. The narrative bounces back and forth from the rescue efforts and public reactions above ground to the desperate conditions of the men trapped below. Attention is also paid to the aftermath; the lawsuits, safety inspections and psychological issues the rescued still face. The type is large enough to accommodate a slightly younger audience and they layout is clean and appealing. This is an ideal nonfiction resource, a great mixture of facts and human interest complemented by extensive back matter, full-color maps, photos and diagrams, and an informative author's note on her attraction to the story and her writing process; a great addition to any class, school or public library. Reviewer: Amy McMillan
Kirkus Reviews
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)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—On August 5, 2010, a massive collapse at the San José mine in the Chilean desert left 33 miners trapped more than 2000 feet below the Earth's surface. Scott alternately tells the stories of the miners, their families anxiously waiting in the camp above, and the rescuers drilling through some of the hardest rock in the world to try to reach them. Frequent color photos, maps, and diagrams, in addition to plentiful white space, make the book visually appealing and increase browser interest. An author's note explains how Scott conducted her research. A short list of sources is included, but individual quotes contained in the text are not sourced. In the afterword, readers get an update on the miners' lives since the rescue and learn that the story doesn't necessarily end "happily ever after" for all of them. This title is for a slightly younger audience than Marc Aronson's Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert (S & S, 2011). It contains less background information on mining, metals, and the drilling process, but has more visual support and a greater focus on the personal stories of the miners and their families.—Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547707785
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/17/2012
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: Library Edition
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 446,708
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1060L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Scott, a veteran nonfiction writer, is often praised for making complicated scientific concepts accessible for young readers. She is the author of When Is a Planet Not a Planet? The Story of Pluto, among many other books. She lives in Houston, Texas.

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