Lloyd Jones's dazzling novel is set on a Pacific Island ravaged by war. Told through the eyes of young Matilda and drawing on the elusive power of great literature, it has caught the imagination of readers the world over. This classic has been released in the Popular Penguin format to mark 50 years of publishing in New Zealand. The format reaches further back to 1935, when Allen Lane founded Penguin Books with a clear vision- 'We believed in the existence of a vast reading public for intelligent books at a low price, and staked everything on it.' This multiple award-winning novel follows Matilda, whose schoolmaster, Mr Watts, is the only white man on Bougainville. By his own admission, he's not much of a teacher and tries to educate the children by reading them Great Expectations, a welcome distraction from what is happening around them. But the horror of civil war is edging ever closer.