Cover image for The friendship war
The friendship war
When Grace takes boxes of old buttons from a building her grandfather bought, she starts a fad at school that draws her closer to one friend, but further from another.
First edition.
Physical Description:
173 pages ; 22 cm
Random House,
Publication Date:


Publication Information:
New York : Random House, [2019]
Call Number:


Item Barcode
Call Number
Item Holds
33607003402867 New Juvenile Fiction CLEMENT

On Order



This is war. Okay--that's too dramatic. But no matter what this is called, so far I'm winning. And it feels wonderful. Grace and Ellie have been best friends since second grade. Ellie's always right in the center of everything--and Grace is usually happy to be Ellie's sidekick. But what happens when everything changes? This time it's Grace who suddenly has everyone's attention when she accidentally starts a new fad at school. It's a fad that has first her class, then her grade, and then the entire school collecting and trading and even fighting over . . . buttons?! A fad that might also get her in major trouble and could even be the end of Grace and Ellie's friendship. Because Ellie's not used to being one-upped by anybody. There's only one thing for Grace to do. With the help of Hank--the biggest button collector in the sixth grade--she will have to figure out a way to end the fad once and for all. But once a fad starts, can it be stopped? Andrew Clements, the beloved author of Frindle, returns with a deliciously entertaining and deeply satisfying story that will resonate with anyone who's ever been in a classroom . . . or been a kid. A fad is a tough thing to kill, but then again, so is a friendship. Praise for Andrew Clements! "Clements is a genius." --The New York Times "We have never read an Andrew Clements book that we haven't loved." --The Washington Post

Author Notes

Andrew Clements was born in Camden, New Jersey on May 7, 1949. He received a bachelor's degree in literature from Northwestern University and master's degree in teaching from National Louis University. Before becoming a full-time author, he taught in the public schools north of Chicago for seven years, was a singer-songwriter, and worked in publishing.

He is well known for his picture book texts, but it was his middle school novel, Frindle, that was a breakthrough for his writing career. Frindle won numerous awards including the Georgia Children's Book Award, the Sasquatch Children's Book Award, the Massachusetts Children's Book Award, the Rhode Island Children's Book Award, and the Year 2000 Young Hoosier Book Award. His other works include The Landry News, The Janitor's Boy, No Talking, Things Not Seen, Things Hoped For, and Things That Are.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Grace is a compulsive collector who thrives on collecting just about anything. She is over the moon when her grandfather says she can keep 27 boxes of buttons that they find in an old building that he just purchased. Grace adds these boxes to the myriad random objects and junk that she already has stored in her overflowing bedroom. When she takes some of the buttons to school, collecting buttons becomes a schoolwide frenzy. This causes Grace to become fixated on collecting data by counting the buttons she sees all around her, including the ones on her schoolmates' clothing. The button fever fascinates Grace, but she eventually comes to the conclusion that it has to end. Grace also has to deal with the feelings she begins to have for her bossy, superficial friend. Clements portrays elementary students in a clear light, especially in how quickly they can get swept up in the latest fad. The never-ending details of button swapping, however, become tiresome. -VERDICT Hand to devoted Clements fans; a secondary purchase for smaller -collections.-Amy Caldera, Dripping Springs Middle School, Dripping Springs, TX © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the latest on-point school story by Clements (The Losers Club), compulsive collector Grace is thrilled when her grandfather says she can keep the 27 boxes of buttons she discovers in his old mill. But after she shares some of the cache with her classmates, the show-and-tell spirals out of control, and kids schoolwide become obsessed with collecting and trading buttons. A math and science whiz, Grace becomes fixated on "collecting data" by counting the buttons on all her schoolmates' clothing, and eventually comes to the obvious conclusion that she and her peers have contracted "button fever." Though painstaking details of button swapping weigh down the narrative, Clements uses the over-the-top fad as a conduit to explore more substantial themes, including Grace's conflicted feelings about her superficial, know-it-all best friend; her deepening friendship with an insightful boy; and her affecting bond with her grandfather, who, like her, is mourning his wife's death. Regretting the frenzy she instigated, Grace applies the theory of supply and demand in a bold move to end it, precipitating a rewarding finale that underscores the value of friends and family-and wryly reveals the limitations of the scientific method. Ages 8-12. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.



Flying from Chicago to Boston by myself hasn't been as big a deal as my dad said it was going to be. But nothing ever is. The second I turn on my phone, it dings with three texts from him:       12:46   Text me as soon as you land.   12:48   Your plane should have landed by now.   12:50   Are you all right?   So I text him right away:   All good, just landed. Love from Boston!   Dad worries. He calls it planning, but it's worry.   Mom worries less because she knows I don't do dumb stuff---not on purpose. My brother, Ben, knows that, too. Actually, Ben understands me pretty well. I understand him totally, which isn't that hard. He's fifteen, and he mostly thinks about two things: girls and music.   Ben's music isn't rock or jazz or rap. It's marching band. Which makes his girlfriend-hunt tougher than it needs to be. At least, that's my theory. It's the whole marching--with-- a--clarinet--while--wearing--a--cowboy--hat thing. However, if it hadn't been for Ben's August band camp, the entire family might be here on the plane with me, and I wouldn't be getting to spend time alone with Grampa.   So, hooray for marching band!   And if Dad had been a little less worried, then he and Mom probably wouldn't have gotten me my own iPhone a couple of weeks ago.   So, hooray for dads who worry!   Grampa's waiting right at the end of the walkway from the plane, just like Dad told him to.   "Hey, Grace! Welcome to Boston!"   "Hi, Grampa! You look great!"   I'm not saying that to be polite or something.   When we all came to Massachusetts last summer, it was for Gramma's funeral, and back then Grampa seemed way too thin. And old.   He looks much better now, and when we hug, I can tell he's not so skinny anymore.   The flight attendant in charge of me looks at Grampa's driver's license. After he signs a form, we're on the move, me with my backpack and him pulling my suitcase.   "Anything at baggage claim?"   "Nope."   "Good. So we're headed for Central Parking . . . unless you're hungry."   "Dad loaded me up with tons of food. I could survive on the leftovers for weeks."   "That's my son--in--law the Eagle Scout---'Once an Eagle, always an Eagle!' " Then he says, "Hey, did you see that link I sent you about how they're making jet fuel out of vegetable oil?"   "Yeah, I loved that!"   Of all the people in the world, I think Grampa understands me best. He's a real estate agent, but he likes math and science almost as much as I do. Last week we swapped texts while we watched an episode of Nova, and for years he's been emailing me links to news he finds online---like the article about robots that can travel through space, and they can keep building new copies of themselves, and they do that for thousands of years until the whole galaxy gets explored!   Except . . . I can't prove that Grampa is really into the science stuff. He might be making himself like it because he knows that I like it.   Either way, it's pretty great.   At the car, Grampa loads my gear into the trunk.   "How about you lean back and take a nap. When we get to Burnham, I'll wake you up for some ice cream. And I've got a surprise for you, too."   "A surprise? What?"   "Not telling."   "Well . . . can the surprise come first, before the ice cream?"   That gets a chuckle. "Excellent idea."   It's so good to hear Grampa laugh!   We get going, but I don't want to sleep. I want to stay awake and talk.   Especially about Gramma.   Except it might be too soon for him to talk about her. It's still kind of soon for me, too. During third and fourth grades I called her a couple of times every week, and she just let me talk and talk. I could call her about anything, or about nothing. And if I ran out of stuff to say, she always had something new to tell me, especially about her garden and all the plants and insects and animals. If Gramma hadn't been so great at describing every little thing she loved, no way would I have gotten into science like I have.   Anyway, I know we both miss her. Which must be a lot different for Grampa than it is for me. He knew her for so much longer. Compared to him, maybe I hardly knew her at all.   It'd be nice to talk, but I got up at five--thirty this morning and I stayed awake to watch a movie on the plane. Once we reach the highway, the humming tires wipe me out. Excerpted from The Friendship War by Andrew Clements All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.