Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Rainbow Troops” as Want to Read:
The Rainbow Troops
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Rainbow Troops

(Tetralogi Laskar Pelangi #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  23,870 ratings  ·  2,949 reviews
Published in Indonesia in 2005, "The Rainbow Troops," Andrea Hirata's closely autobiographical debut novel, sold more than five million copies, shattering records. Now it promises to captivate audiences around the globe.

Ikal is a student at the poorest village school on the Indonesian island of Belitong, where graduating from sixth grade is considered a remarka
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published 2005)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,870 ratings  ·  2,949 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Oct 18, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose this book needs no further introduction to the Indonesian audience. So let me be brief.

The good:
- proper use of Indonesian language, a rarity nowadays
- descriptive and detailed story-telling, also a rarity
- funny, with unexpected and unusual metaphors.

The bad:
- pretentious. Must he quote all sorts of Latin names and English words just to describe a quiet afternoon with birds and butterfly in a school yard? Must he go on and on about Mahar
Ancilla Irwan
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-bahasa
I don't know why but I am not as satisfied as others experienced.

Andrea Hirata, the author wrote it in a good descriptive way. Unfortunately, I get bored.

It talks about the education of students in remote area. An education for the poor, but the teachers teach that they don't have to feel shame due to their lack of financial status.

To be confident. To stand up. To express. To actualize.

It is a good topic, but I somehow get distracted with the way the author use the Latin names of
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

The Rainbow Troops is a remarkable debut novel by a young man who once promised his schoolteacher he would write a book in her honor. Inspired by Hirata's own childhood experiences on the tiny, isolated island of Belitong, on the east coast of Sumatra, this is the poignant story of ten young children from among the islands poorest families, and their struggle to gain the education they are guaranteed under Indonesian law.

On his first day at Belitong's only free school, Muhammadiyah E
monica ♪
I read this book long long time ago. I was still in high school back then. Since I wasn't really a reader that time, reading this book was such an unforgettable experience for me.

The story was wonderful, and it's written beautifully by the author so that you can feel all the sorrows, the struggles that happened to Ikal and the gang, and also the happiness.
I found myself smiled, cried, laughed by reading this book.
And not to mention the life lessons I got from this book.
Don't be afr
Oct 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
I chose to read this book because it's a bestseller in its home country - and five million Indonesians can't be wrong.

After reading, I stand by my comment that those 5 million Indonesians can't be wrong, but they certainly can have different tastes in literature to me.
This story is what I call the "naive" style of writing, which can be kind of cute if there is a clear storyline and some nuancing of character. However, I couldn't sense an ongoing narrative, the incidents didn't make
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
3.8 stars

Goodness! Heartbreaking. Beautifully written, poignant.
I liked learning about a different country/culture. An important book in terms of educating others about situations around the world.

It also took me a few days to read b/c it was emotionally draining (in a good way). I only read a little bit each day. I wanted all the children to succeed in life but the odds aren’t in their favor.
I don’t think college is for everyone, but I’d like to hope that at least ever
MarciaB - Book Muster Down Under
The Blurb
“Originally written in Bahasa, The Rainbow Troops was first published in 2005 and sold a record-breaking five million copies in Indonesia. The novel tells the inspiring and closely autobiographical tale of the trials and tribulations that the ten motley students (nicknamed the Rainbow Troops) and two teachers from Muhammadiyah Elementary School on Belitong Island, Indonesia, undergo to ensure the continuation of the children’ s education. The poverty-stricken school suffers the constant threat of clos/>“Originally
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cried when I read some last chapters. Some plans you imaged in the past will never become reality but you can make it better, invest in myself is the best way to live a better and happier life.
“Veni vidi vici”
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction, 2008
I have heard a lot of this book, and seen it practically everywhere, from upscale bookstores to book hawkers who spread their wares on the sidewalk or on bridges leading to the Transjakarta bus stops. From the first time I heard about this book, on the Kick Andy showon MetroTV, I had been pretty intrigued by the background story: that of ten students in the sadly familiar rundown backwater school, and their dedidated, memorable teacher, Ms. Muslimah. The book has certainly created quite a powerful ripple in t ...more
Eustacia Tan
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Rainbow Troops is not only a fantastically written book, it also showed me that I can handle non-traditional narrative styles as long as they’re well written (for a time, I thought I could only read the ‘traditional’ style).

The Rainbow Troops follows the students at Muhammadiyah elementary school on Belitung, Indonesia. The school is at risk of closing down and the students and their two teachers must do their best to keep the school open.

That’s the main goal of the b
Shaima Faisal
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"A hardworking life is like picking up fruit from a basket with a blindfold on. Whatever fruit we end up getting, at least we have fruit."

The "Laskar Pelangi" who also happens to be the students of Almuhammadiya School encounters many challenges along with their teachers (Pak Harfan and Bu Mus) in order to keep the school running and prevent the authorities from shutting it down.

Through out the chapters of the novel, I enjoyed the adventures of the characters and their en
Brian Clark
This autobiographical book was unique in that most of it took place in a single classroom and in a short story format. That format worked well because the stories slowly became more complex as the characters matured. I found myself wanting to know more about the main character, especially in the first half so maybe that's why it took me awhile to get into. Still a good story about education in general and Indonesian history more specifically.
Mohd Yasim
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andrea Hirata’s Rainbow Troops is both humbling and inspiring, a reminder that there is a lot we take for granted in this country which is a privilege in other, less fortunate places – such as the right to free education. Written as homage to his elementary school teacher and classmates, the story’s honesty and humour will warm your heart and leave you with a feeling of hope.

Born the son of a miner on the tiny Indonesian island of Belitong, on the East coast of Sumatra, six-year-old
It would be easy to be dismissive of this book: The Rainbow Troops is sentimental, moralistic and hagiographic. The unsubtle proselytising of Islam is irritating, the representations of people are like cardboard cut-outs, and the writing is very ordinary indeed.

None of this prevented it from becoming a best-seller in Indonesia, where its theme of rich v. poor is a running sore. The pupils of a small rural school threatened with closure battle the rich and powerful, and they win. It m
Jennifer Rolfe
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I must be the only one with reservations about this book. I did like it but it did not reach my expectations. I was very aware that it was written from the perspective of an island boy but even when I reached the end paragraphs where the 'adult' was completing the story I felt cheated about what was left out of the novel.
I studied Indonesian at University in the 1980's and travelled there several times. One aspect that fascinated me was the education of women there. It is a Muslim country
Hera Diani
Sep 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been sooo long since I read a good Indonesian book. But this isn't just good, it's great! I would've given it a five-star, but let's just save it for the next book(s).

This book is exhilarating because it's well-written, the characters are also well-developed, and it's so damn honest. It reminds me of Deddy Mizwar's 'Ketika' and 'Nagabonar Jadi 2', both written by Musfar Yasin. The plots are too long at times, but you don't mind them and willingly let yourself sucked into the sto
I don't know how many times I have read this,but this has been my go to whenever I found myself unable to read new books.
I just love it so much.
I can't even write a decent review for this one since I adore it too much I'm afraid the only thing I can type is how amazing this is.
See, I'm doing it xD
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Reading my backlog in 2019: Book 8!
I bought this book in 2013 because it was marketed as a record breaking book in Indonesia and I thought it would be nice to read something from such a different perspective. Fast forward to 2019 and it’s recommended to me at a bookclub in Bondi (how life can change) by a woman who has just spent a week in Indonesia learning about the struggle to educate and access books, and a woman who didn’t eat a day or two a week in order to save her mo
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-western
"I hated those children of the rich who threw away their esucation". This is a mostly autobiographical novel that reads like a memoir mixed slightly with a fable. The beginning was tough with surface descriptions and jumping around in time, and the characters remained mostly superficial with personalities defined only by what the narrator told us. However, it does give insight into another culture and it hits home on the value of education for education's sake, as well as how much most of it tak ...more
Joanna Z
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This memoir is so beautiful and perfect that five stars don't measure up. I laughed and nearly cried throughout the true stories of children who treasured going to school, even braving harsh weather and crocodiles to get there. I can't recommend this book enough. Ten amazing children born into an underdog, impoverished community are not overlooked by God and validated in ways that fiction couldn't invent.
Sabrina Wazir
This is my second reading.

At my first reading I only manage to read up to page 150 because I found that this book is quite boring. However, having read most reviews saying that this book is a-must-read and been re-printed few times, I took my own sweet time enjoying this book.

This book motivates you, make you laugh, feel sorry, be thankful of what you have and teach you the value of friendship.

Thank you Andrea Hirata.

"Hiduplah untuk memberi sebyk2n
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heartbreaking tale of 10 students and 2 teachers and their fight to get a deserving education.
Michael Lever
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute, and if true moving in a naive manner. But hardly worth the 5 star adulation it seems to attract.
Fadri Mokolintad
Still best of the best
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indonesian, indonesia
I left Jakarta and arrived in Australia as a student at the tender age of 15. This was nearly 20 years ago. I realised a few years ago that since I barely hung out with any Indonesian friends, my Bahasa Indonesia has deteriorated to the point that I am possibly unable to write or speak in the formal language. In my bid to improve, I asked my sister to bring me back some books each time she went to Jakarta. Each time, she came back without Laskar Pelangi because they’ve always sold out! Hence, began my ...more
Is there a thing happening – with text and film from other cultures – that the stories that immediately catch the Western eye are the ones with a David and Goliath format – the motley crew of poor kids fight the larger beast, whether it is an institution or simply bigger, stronger, richer individuals? I’m thinking of Not One Less (China), Slumdog Millionare (India), Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t (Japan) among others. The Rainbow Troops is one of these stories. Perhaps we are drawn to that fighting spirit ...more
Bruno Lucas
A quasi-biographical glimpse in the life of children in Belitung, a Sumatran village where poverty exists alongside tremendous mineral riches. The economic injustice prevailing in the village is replicated by the school system: while the wealthier children go to a well-resourced school in a gated community, the others must attend another with "the worst possible problems for an elementary school classroom: a roof with leaks so large that students see planes flying in the sky and have to hold umb ...more
Do Thien Giang
A sad and inspiring story with humorous narrative voice. It's about the dream to go to school, the battle between a dream/ a ideal life and the reality. This can't be a wrong choice to anyone!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Ayo sumbangkan tulisanmu untuk di publish! 1 15 Aug 21, 2017 07:21PM  
patut tak beli buku ni 11 81 Jul 22, 2014 10:00PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add book cover & edition 4 33 Apr 06, 2014 04:17PM  
The Reading Drago...: The Rainbow Troops, by Andrea Hirata 1 7 Mar 19, 2014 06:49PM  
amazing story 11 22 Nov 01, 2013 12:23AM  
patut tak beli buku ni 7 111 Feb 20, 2013 09:26PM  
religi hidup 1 57 Dec 20, 2007 03:42AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ayat-Ayat Cinta
  • Negeri 5 Menara
  • Hafalan Shalat Delisa
  • Rahasia Meede: Misteri Harta Karun VOC
  • Supernova: Petir
  • The Naked Traveler
  • Travelers' Tale, Belok Kanan: Barcelona!
  • 5 cm
  • Ketika Mas Gagah Pergi (Edisi Kedua)
  • Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk
  • Sitti Nurbaya: Kasih Tak Sampai
  • House of Glass (Buru Quartet, #4)
  • Kedai 1001 Mimpi: Kisah Nyata Seorang Penulis yang Menjadi TKI
  • Galaksi Kinanthi: Sekali Mencintai Sudah itu Mati?
See similar books…
Under a bright sunny sky, the three-day Byron Bay Writers’ Festival welcomed Andrea Hirata who charmed audiences with his modesty and gracious behavior during two sessions.

Andrea also attended a special event where he and Tim Baker, an Australian surfing writer, spoke to a gathering of several hundred school children. During one session, Andrea was on a panel with Pulitzer Prize winning journalis

Other books in the series

Tetralogi Laskar Pelangi (4 books)
  • Sang Pemimpi
  • Edensor
  • Maryamah Karpov: Mimpi-mimpi Lintang
“Hiduplah Untuk Memberi yang Sebanyak-banyaknya, Bukan untuk Menerima yang Sebanyak-banyaknya. (Pak Harfan)” 231 likes
“Jika hati kita tulus berada di dekat orang berilmu, kita akan disinari pancaran pencerahan, karena sesungguhnya kepintaran sangat mudah menjalar.” 57 likes
More quotes…