The Button War


When Patryk sees the bird heading toward the village- ‘clackety,clackety,clack’- life changes for him irrevocably. The ‘bird’ hits the school, exploding. Suddenly, the Russian troops in his Galician village are leaving, to be replaced by German soldiers. There are Austrian troops too.

Patryk and his six friends meet by the water pump. They roam the forest and castle ruins, that Jurek, the one who has all the best ideas, claims as his. He says he is the descendant of King Boleslaw. Jurek claims the first uniform button that Patryk finds in the ruins, too. Then he sets the challenge, ‘The Button War’. Whomever of the boys returns with the best collection of buttons, will be the winner, ‘King. Everyone has to bow down to him’.  Patryk realises Jurek will go to any length to win. As victor he would be ruthless, cruel and unbearable. What will the boys endure to win ‘The Button War’?

‘The Button War’ is a bold, bleak, real story of a place little known but hugely affected by events of World War 1. Newbery Medal winner, Avi, has created a story that grips, holds, horrifies and matters.


The Button War


(Walker Books)

Patryk joins his six friends at the water pump most days. They roam the village, ‘racing around, stealing fruit, kicking an old ball, playing hiding games.’ The village and the surrounding forest are ripe for exploration. What starts when Patryk finds a button in the outlying ruins? Why does Jurek claim he is ‘King of the Forest’? Danger, uncertainty and the end of a way of life await in ‘The Button War’.


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