by Lloyd Jones
Thirteen-year-old Matilda lives on a Pacific island in the midst of war. There is little comfort and no escape for the village in which she lives.
Mr. Watts, the only white man on the island, decides to change that for the village's children. He becomes their makeshift teacher and introduces them to literature. Each day he reads a chapter of Great Expectations to them. Matilda and her classmates are quickly enthralled. Matilda uses the book and her own relationship to Pip as an escape not only from the island, but also her angry, stubborn mother.
What follows is a tale of the power of literature and imagination, as well as the brutal reality of war.
Short and worthwhile.