The Button War: A Tale of The Great War

Featured
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
654 0
The Button War: A Tale of The Great War
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
June 12, 2018
ISBN
978-0763690533
Buy This Book
      

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 — until the Germans drop a bomb on the schoolhouse and the Great War comes crashing in. As control of the village falls from one nation to another, Jurek, the ringleader of these friends, devises the best dare yet: whichever boy steals the finest military button will be king. But as sneaking buttons from uniforms hanging to dry progresses to looting the bodies of dead soldiers — and as Jurek’s obsession with being king escalates — Patryk begins to wonder whether their “button war” is still just a game. When devastation reaches their doorstep, the lines between the button war and the real war blur, especially for the increasingly callous Jurek. Master of historical fiction Avi delivers a fierce account of the boys of one war-torn village who are determined to prove themselves with a simple dare that spins disastrously out of control.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

The Button War
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Twelve-year-old Patryk lives in a small Polish town in 1914. He hangs with his group of friends which includes Jurek. One day in August, Patryk finds a button which sets Jurek off in rage. Though Jurek is poor, he declares himself 'King of the Forest' and anything in the forest is his. This sets off a button war. Who ever gets the best button of a Russian soldier, will be king of the forest. Then war comes to his town and the game goes from stealing buttons off the laundry line of Russian soldiers to taking them from dead soldiers bodies. Jurek is set on becoming the King of the Forest and will do just about anything to get the best button even if that might lead to deadly consequences for the rest of the group.

What worked: Think Stand by Me meets Lord of the Flies set in a small Polish town during WW1. The so-called competitive game of getting the best button starts from cutting them off the laundry of Russian soldiers to taking them from dead soldiers bodies. The scenes of war are horrific with vivid details of the boys stumbling on some Russian soldiers after they had been ambushed by Germans. Also the bombing of a school house and one classmate who is engulfed with flames is equally disturbing. Yes, this reading is uncomfortable at times, but that makes it real. But what gives this book a Lord of the Flies feel has to be Jurek and his insistence on being lord over his friends to the point that he will do just about anything for that title.

Jurek is more of a frenemy of Patryk. He's also the poorest of the group of friends. Patryk at first ignores the troubling behavior of Jurek until it's almost too late. He doesn't want Jurek to be over their small group, so he takes on the challenge to find the best button.

The Button War is symbolic of the war that invades their small village with the horror and devastation it leaves behind. The author doesn't hold back on the destruction and dead of war.

Gritty, raw, coming of age historical novel that takes place in 1941 right at the start of WW1 and the deadly consequences of a game that goes too far.
Good Points
1. Stand by Me meets Lord of the Flies set in a small Polish town during WW1
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
As the daughter of a successful Major League pitcher, Charlie...
Serious Moonlight
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced...
Sway
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school...
Scarlet Epstein Hates it Here
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online...
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with...
The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bestselling Divergent and Carve the Mark author Veronica Roth...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Adam is living the dream, literally.... There are two...
Colliding Skies
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Since Skye Reilly can remember, she has been looking...
What Makes Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history,...
Dating Nashville
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Becks: How does a straight guy accidentally come out...
Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young adult anthology featuring fictional stories of everyday...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leonardo Cantrell is a painfully shy sixteen-year-old who cannot look...
Dog and Rabbit
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A funny, sweet story of unrequited friendship from the creator...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lena and Campbell aren't friends. ...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her...
Prophecy Untold (Shadow Realms book 3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finding out my mother was taken by the demons was...

Latest Member Reviews

The Burning Shadow (Origin Series, #2)
 
5.0
"I’m not going to lie….I read The Burning Shadow in two days. It could’ve been one sitting if my eyelids..."
The Grace Year
 
5.0
"It’s been one week since I finished The Grace Year by Kim Liggett as I sit down to start this..."
 
4.3
"I started out reading an ARC of Symptoms of a Heartbreak, but then I switched to reading a hardcover in..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
4.3
"I’m going to start out this post by letting it be known by all and sundry that I was provided..."
Sick Kids in Love
 
5.0
"SICK KIDS IN LOVE is a beautiful story about love- as well as invisible illness/disability AND NOBODY DIES! (I do..."
The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World, #1)
 
5.0
"THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD is a compelling and atmospheric YA fantasy/science fiction. In the future, the..."
Conceal, Don't Feel (Twisted Tales, #7)
 
5.0
"If you adored FROZEN, you need to get your hands on this Twisted Tale which reimagines the story if Anna..."
The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future
 
4.0
"THE END AND OTHER BEGINNINGS is the latest from DIVERGENT author, Veronica Roth. The novel is comprised of six YA..."
The Bookworm Crush
 
5.0
"THE BOOKWORM CRUSH is an absolutely charming romantic comedy with all sorts of booklover homages. Amy McIntyre is @redheadrecs and..."
Scared Little Rabbits
 
3.0
"SCARED LITTLE RABBITS follows Nora (aka Eleanor, Lowercase) as she sets out on a summer camp adventure that resulted in..."
A Constellation of Roses
 
5.0
"A CONSTELLATION OF ROSES is a beautiful story of familial love and healing. Trix has been trying to make her..."
Frankly in Love
 
5.0
"FRANKLY IN LOVE is a surprisingly deep and heartfelt read. Although it is described as a rom-com, this is not..."
American Royals
 
4.7
"What if at the end of America’s Revolutionary War, George Washington was offered a crown and what if he said..."
Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance
 
4.0
"This is the type of book I’d like to see included in school curriculums. The stories are like wide open..."
When the Stars Lead to You
 
4.7
"WHEN THE STARS LED TO YOU is quite the emotional YA contemporary. While on the surface it seems like a..."
We Are the Perfect Girl
 
3.3
"'We Are the Perfect Girl' by Ariel Kaplan is a Cyrano De Bergerac style story. There are a host of..."
Stranger Things: Runaway Max
 
4.7
"'Stranger Things: Runaway Max' by Brenna Yovanoff provides an intriguing look into Max's life before and during her time in..."
Crown of Oblivion
 
5.0
"Engrossing and completely thrilling, CROWN OF OBLIVION is a fantastic new YA fantasy that I highly recommend. Dealing with themes..."
 
4.7
"Four very different high school girls plan to spend one month together in GIRLS OF JULY, and they each have..."
 
3.0
"BETWEEN WORLDS: FOLKTALES OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND is a collection of short stories that have been passed down over centuries..."