Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert by Marc Aronson

Bibliographic Citation: Aronson, Mark. Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011. 134p. ISBN: 9781416913979.

Awards/Selection Lists:

Publishers Weekly Best Books list

Author’s Website:


Marc Aronson’s Trapped tells the story of how 33 miners trapped 2,000 feet below the Chilean desert first rescued themselves so that the world could rescue them later.

Personal Reaction:

On August 5, 2010, 708,000 tons of rock came crashing down the San Jose copper mine in northern Chile. 33 men were trapped in a shelter 2,300 feet below the Chilean desert for 69 days. Marc Aronson’s Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert chronicles the world’s fight to save these men. Examining everything from the role the planet’s shifting continents play in modern mining to the men drawn to the deeply hazardous mining profession, Aronson offers readers an incredibly well-rounded account of the story that had the entire world riveted.

Though I remember being captivated by the miners’ story at the time of its happening, Aronson’s book affected me as though I were hearing it for the first time. His account of how the trapped miners worked as a team, allowing themselves a later rescue, is incredibly inspiring. Equally moving is the way in which the world responded to the miners’ plight. The details included in Trapped (from the 20 cans of tuna fish the men rationed out between them to the Oakley sunglasses they wore exiting the mine in order to protect their eyes) serve to emphasize the absolute precariousness of the situation, as well as the delicacy with which it was treated. In Trapped, Marc Aronson does justice to the challenges faced during the 69 days the men were trapped in the San Jose mine, as well as pays tribute to the heroes of the story.

Front Matter:

Dedication page, TOC

Back Matter:

Afterword, “The 33 Miners: Ages at the Time of the Rescue,” Timeline, Glossary, “The World of the Miner” by Ron Mishkin, “How I Wrote This Book: And What I Learned That Could be Useful for Students Writing Research Reports (And a Couple of Last Thoughts from Men I Interviewed),” Notes and Sources, Bibliography, Interviews, Useful Websites, Acknowledgments, Index

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