Avi WordCraft blog

Everything Button War

This book is being discussed in classrooms, book clubs, and peace organizations around the world, so I offer you some interesting tidbits about The Button War:

The Button WarBehind the story

It must have been something like forty years ago.

I was visiting my father-in-law with my older boys. They were playing with something they were collecting, perhaps baseball cards, or some such.

Looking on, my father-in-law said, “When I was a kid, we boys collected things, too.”

The story he told was rather unusual. He was raised in a village somewhere in Eastern Europe, but with so many national boundary changes, he could not even say precisely which country. During World War One, he said, his village was invaded and taken over by now this army, now that, from different nations. When these armies took over his village, the soldiers commandeered the women to wash their uniforms. Once washed, the uniforms were hung out to dry. The boys in the village—so my father-in-law related—would sneak about, cut the buttons from the uniforms, collect them, and trade them amongst themselves. This in the midst of The Great War. read more

Sample Chapter

Candlewick offers Chapter 1, readable online and as a downloadable PDF

Podcast and transcript

TeachingBooks.net interviewed me about The Button War. Transcript included.


Kat Dayton writes, “This is How The Button War Helped My Kids Think about Bigger Issues at the Border,” St. George News, 24 June 2018

Reading Group Choices interview

Book Covers through the Years

Always intriguing to study a book’s cover, looking at how the publisher and artist felt this would promote a book to the most likely readers.

The Button War
The Button War, US hardcover
The Button War
The Button War, US paperback
The Button War
The Button War, the UK edition: note the difference in typeface, size of image, and buttons on the back
La guerra dels botons
the Catalan edition of The Button War

Books about War and Conflict

If you or your favorite reader liked The Button War you can find more books recommended by H&H Spalding Books here.

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