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

By Elaine Scott
Clarion Books • 2012 • 80 pages
Hardcover ($17.00)
ISBN  978-0-547-70778-5
Ages 9-12

Elaine Scott is well known for her scientific books for children. In her latest, she not only explains how thirty-three Chilean miners survived for 69 days in a San Jose mine, in Chile, she also provides information on mining around the world. Scott’s explanations use terminology that younger readers can understand, as it provides explicit details. It took experts from all over the world to accomplish this daring rescue.

Read Related: One Year Later: A Chilean Miner’s Wife Remembers

The author provides a day-by-day narrative of the experiences of these miners, from their lack of food, to the darkness they encountered, the physical demands of the environment, and most importantly, the psychological effects of the situation. A definite page-turner, readers will want to read this book more than once. A second read would help to truly understand the details of what went into the rescue effort.

This is also a personal narrative about the miners and their families that incorporates what was happening above ground while family members waited for their loved ones to be rescued. Various diagrams that support the explanations and a map of the location of the mine are included, as are photographs of the mine, the area surrounding it, and the men inside. A page featuring photos of all of the miners appears at the end of the story. The book also includes an afterword, a glossary, authors notes and references, and an index.

Reviewed by Dr. Veronica Covington, School of Information, University of Texas, Austin