The "Rainbow Troop" is a group of 10 children who study in a poor school in a remote village in Indonesia. The main character, who is the autobiographical narrator, and his friend stand out in the story. The latter is small in stature, but very intelligent. He has to travel several kilometers every day, and he is the one who saves the prestige of the school in an annual inter-school competition. The government wants to close the school and the inspector who visits it does nothing but look for excuses. The love of the old teacher for teaching and of the new assistant - a young girl who is just starting out - is what keeps the school going.
The different ways of being of each pupil are very well characterized. There is no lack of mischief, more or less dramatic or funny episodes, adolescent infatuation, allusions to the attempt to live a Muslim faith integrated into the customs of those peoples, the social problem of the companies that have no qualms about destroying the environment in search of the precious tin... Sometimes nostalgic, sometimes dramatic, but very human. The eagerness to learn in spite of the difficulties stands out.