The Button War: A Tale of the Great War

Avi. Candlewick, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9053-3
Darker than the Newbery Medalist’s usual fare, this powerfully evocative WWI novel set in Poland parallels a child’s game with the war raging in the not-so-distant background. After the Germans bomb the schoolhouse and the long-residing Russian soldiers prepare to leave the area, Patryk’s small, isolated village is suddenly a whirlwind of activity. Inspired by the frequent comings and goings of military men, Jurek, the cruel, conniving leader of Patryk’s group of classmates, declares a daring challenge: whoever procures the best button from a soldier’s uniform gets to be king. Patryk is determined to beat Jurek at his own game, but he is no match for Jurek’s determination to win at all costs, even as the game turns deadly. Told from Patryk’s point of view, the novel captures the ways that war can forever alter a child’s sense of order, morality, and security in the world. Strongly visual scenes, including the smoky forest after battle, the soldiers marching in perfect formation, and a chilling final image of Jurek, will long resonate in readers’ minds. Ages 10–14. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2018
Release date: 06/12/2018
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-978602-46-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5436-8714-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5436-8716-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5436-8715-6
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-5361-7
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