The Button War by Avi

The Button War

Renowned, award-winning author Avi pens a stark, unflinching tale of ordinary boys living in wartime as tensions — and desperations — mount among them.Twelve-year-old Patryk knows little of the world beyond his tiny Polish village; the Russians have occupied the land for as long as anyone can remember, but otherwise life is unremarkable. Patryk and his friends entertain themselves by coming up with dares — some more harmful than others — ...

Details The Button War

TitleThe Button War
Release DateJun 12th, 2018
PublisherCandlewick Press
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, War, World War I

Reviews The Button War

  • Kristy K
    "What's the war about?" We were silent. No one knew the answer. I so wanted to like this middle grade historical fiction book set in Poland during WWI. But the characters were just horrible. Patryk, our MC, is a very weak character and a bit of pushover. He and his friends are the epitome of meek followers. They seem more concerned with the going along with Jurek's rules than their own safety and the lives of their friends. Jurek was a bully and ...
  • Mark Buxton
    Jurek is a crazy idiot! The Russian soldiers have left our town, the Germans have moved in, and he thinks his button war is the most important thing in the world. He's challenged us to find the best button from a soldier's uniform, which is dangerous to do while they're still wearing it. I should ignore Jurek, but I can't back down from his dares. Things will get really bad for our group of friends if he wins the contest. I thought the German bom...
  • Patty Smith
    Thank you to Netgalley, Candlewick Press and Avi for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.Meet Patryk and his buddies. They live in a small rural town in Poland, surrounded by a large forest. Their village has one schoolhouse, one church, and one bridge that leads into town. The nearest city is maybe a five hour walk. Nothing much ever happens in their town. The boys like to hang out at their favourite spot by the water pump in the middle of t...
  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh
    It's August 1914 and World War I has just begun, and it has arrived in 12-year-old Patryk's small Polish village, within Galicia, a kingdom in eastern Europe that has seen varying occupations over its history. Presently, it is occupied by the Russian Army, who pretty much leave the villagers alone.Though Patryk and his six friends like to hang out by the village's water pump, they also have a favorite spot in the woods just outside their village....
  • Nostalgia Reader
    A quick read that immerses you in the time period and what it was like to be a Polish kid caught in the middle of the fighting in World War 1.Avi’s works have always been well written from a kid’s perspective, something that’s surprising difficult to capture many times–the questions, the moral dilemmas, and especially, the conversation tones. Patryk, the narrator, has a voice that successfully expresses all these notes. While the question...
  • Miranda Paris
    One of Avi's best yet!
  • Maria Antonia
    **Note: I received a free copy of this title from the people at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**Basic Plot: It's August 1914 in a small village in Poland. The Great War has begun, but Patryk and his six friends are caught up in their own Button War... to see which boy can find (read: steal) the best button from the uniforms of the various occupying soldiers. Little do they know that this war is going to have deadly consequences.WHAT...
  • Ms. Yingling
    E ARC from Netgalley.comPatryk lives in a small Polish town in 1914. The Russians have been in control for a number of years, but rumor has it that German soldiers are on their way. When a new fangled aeroplane blows up the school, everyone knows that war is on its way. Jurek, whose family is poor, becomes interested in buttons from soldiers' coats after finding one in an abandoned castle in the woods. He makes up a contest, with a cane as the pr...
  • Jaina Rose
    This review and many more like it are available at Read Till Dawn .I'll be perfectly honest: I had very, very high expectations for The Button War because it's written by Avi. Most people love Avi for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, but the truth is that I barely even remember that book; no, the reason I had high hopes for this new Avi read was because I was obsessed with his The Secret School when I was little. It grabbed my fascinati...
  • Linda
    These boys in a small town in Poland already occupied by Russians learn the harsh realities of following a leader they cannot refuse as war nears even their remote village. The main character Patryk is only twelve and hangs out with six others, one of whom reveals a glimpse of his terrible anger one time as they “played” in the forest. Patryk finds a button which competitive Jurek wants, who nearly clubs him with a tree limb to get it. After ...
  • Danica Hughes
    Thanks to #kidlitexchange for a free copy of this book to review #partner. Wow, I loved Avi growing up, he’s a pro at writing historical fiction. So I was very excited to get a copy of this book to review. This is a story of a group of friends, seven young boys ages 11-12, set in the year 1914 in the small Polish village where they live during World War 1. Two of the boys, Patryk and Jurek are as much friends as they are rivals. Constantly maki...
  • Mandy
    I received this book as part of a Librarything giveaway. Thanks to Candlewick Press for sending it to me.It’s August 1914 in a small Polish village: Patryk and his little group of friends are just like other boys their age. They like to explore the forest, hate school, and enjoy spending their time hanging around the old water pump. Yet that summer two things happen that change their lives forever: first, the Russian soldiers who have been stat...
  • Suzanne
    The latest historical fiction from Avi takes place in a small village in Poland during the early twentieth century. Patryk and the other boys his age attend school, work with their families, and play in the woods nearby. They are familiar with the Russian soldiers barracked in the village and many of their neighbors don't even know the names of the nearest large cities, because they have never traveled anywhere. When one of the boys begins a comp...
  • Heather
    Received an advanced copy in exchange for a fair review.I had forgotten Avi but man, did I read a bunch of his work when I was a middle school history nerd. Now as an adult history nerd, I was excited to revisit a favorite childhood author. "The Button War" is a brilliant little character study set in a small Polish village in World War I. A group of friends start a competition to find the "best" button pilfered from the uniforms of occupying sol...
  • Hannah
    Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book — all opinions are my own.**DISCLAIMER: While this is a middle-grade book, I would caution sensitive readers to talk with a teacher/parent before reading, as there are several troubling scenes describing bloody injuries, deaths, and war themes. **Avi does a wonderful job of illustrating how war challenges our definitions of “right” and “wrong.” This book focuses on a...
  • Lori
    I received a free review copy of this book from NetGalley and Candlewick Press. All opinions and thoughts are my own. Most historical fiction these days centers around World War II; so I was pleasantly surprised to find this middle grade novel set in a small village in Poland during World War I. Patryk, the main character, and his village are stuck between two dangerous extremes: the Russian army that has occupied his home for years and the newly...
  • Michelle Kidwell
    The Button WarA Tale of the Great Warby AviCandlewick PressCandlewickMiddle GradePub Date 12 Jun 2018I am reviewing a copy of The Button War through Candlewick Press and Netgalley:Beloved Children Author Avi pens a story of ordinary boys living in wartime, sharing there struggles, tensions, dreams, even the darker side of reality of wartime...Patryk is a twelve year old boy who doesn't know much of the world outside of his tiny Polish Village, th...
  • Tirzah
    This has to be the darkest Avi book I have read. It is too dark for me and I think it would be too dark for some children. Terrible stuff starts in Chapter Four and escalates to worse as the plot unfolds. It is set in World War I, so I was expecting tragedy and violence but not to this degree or form. I was also hoping for more historical fiction, but it concentrated more on the deteriorating friendship among the boys. There were brief flashes of...
  • Books, Cooks, & Hooks
    The outcome of this book was so totally unexpected, but I liked it. Twelve-year-old Patryk's Polish village has been thrust into the middle of World War I. Like any normal, young boys, Patryk and his six friends make up a game to take their minds off of the calamity surrounding them. The object of the game is to find the best button. It seems innocent enough, but after it takes a deadly turn, they are torn between quitting the game and pushing it...
  • Library
    Appropriate historic fiction for middle school readers, a little dark in theme. Patryk is a young boy with friends who, as most adolescents will, hang out together. It is 1914, WW1 is close and nations are getting hostile. Their little town is ruled over by Russian soldiers. One of the boys, Jurek, has a button that he has stolen from a soldier. The boys decide to collect as many buttons as they can and the best button finder will earn the title ...
  • Cheya
    I've read several books by Avi over the years and enjoyed them all. This one grabbed my attention because I remember watching a film years ago about young boys who collected buttons to win a dare. I searched and found the movie and discovered the book the movie was based on. I don't remember anything more about the movie. Will need to watch it again. I was interested to see if Avi's book was a retelling of the movie. My guess is the movie and boo...
  • Kristine
    The Button War by Avi is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-June.Kind of a grotesque, coming-of-age Stand by Me, but during World War II. The first-person narrator, Patryk, recounts his friendship with six other children, while distracting themselves (to excess) from the bombings of their Polish/Galician/Russian village by collecting the most valuable, the most ornate button from German, Austrian, and French soldiers, ill-gotten or otherwi...
  • Dave
    I liked the concept of this book. I'm always interested in a story told in a historical setting. That said, the story was rather repetitive and unsurprising in its ending. There was very little character development. From page 1 the reader is almost forced to intense dislike for one main character and intense sympathy for another and that doesn't really change. There was very little background provided as to why there were Russian soldiers in thi...
  • Michele
    Thank you to @candlewickpress for sharing this ARC way back at #aasl17! Avi has a new book! This one is set during WWI and features a band of seven boys. Patryk is a 12yo Polish boy living in a village controlled by Russians when suddenly the Germans come to town. He and his friends are typical boys getting into a little mischief, all centered around buttons.•This will be a great period piece for students who maybe aren’t as interested in the...
  • Melinda
    Not my favorite Avi book, some of his other books are much better. I had a hard time reading this one as I disliked one of the antigonists so much. That character was a little over the top. I did like how the conflict between the two main characters was classic bullying, set during WWII and it would be a great discussion topics in a classroom about bullying. The internal conflict of the protagonist was real and as a reader you could really relate...
  • Mimi
    In a small town in Poland during World War I where Russian (plus a regiment of Russian Cossacks), German, French, and British soldiers converge a group of 7 boys create a game to see who can get the "best" military uniform button. Just like the rules of life change each time the town it is taken over by a competing army, the rules of the Button War game keep changing too. Left with few options the people of the town and the boys try to adapt as q...
  • Alyssa
    The Button War is good but not especially memorable. It is a wartime tale of young boys in a small Polish village, torn between German and Russian soldiers. While there is good historical context, I feel that the characters could have been more fully developed. However it does get some extra pluses for being about WWI as not too many historical fiction books are set in that time period. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an advanced re...
  • Shawna
    Another book where I really wish we could give half stars. This one's good but not especially memorable. A wartime tale of young boys in a small Polish village, torn between German and Russian soldiers. Good historical context, characters could have been more fully developed, I thought. Meant for a younger audience so that’s understandable.
  • Mary
    This type of book doesn't really appeal to me, although it is well-written. Most people speak of it as a "war book" but i really think it is more a story of friendship and deception, and knowing the truth about your friends.
  • Tamsyn
    3.5 Harsh realities of war in a small occupied Polish village in WWI. Not a fan of bullies and war’s collateral damage, so it wasn’t my favorite.