The Button War: A Tale of the Great War - Avi

When I got this book from NetGalley, I considered it a Middle Grade novel, as the protagonists are twelve years old. But, while I usually consider a twelve-year-old today so much “older” than their counterparts in the early part of the twentieth century, history has forced maturity on Patryk and his friends in this story, with a hometown that has been repeatedly occupied by malevolent strangers. The Great War has turned their town into a contentious place, and the boys’ games have begun to change too, from innocent fun to grave tests of daring. My teenagers have not read this book yet, but I can imagine that it will inspire in them the same chills I felt, the kind that accompany an overwhelming sense of dread and foreboding. This is a difficult, disturbing story, but an important addition to the historical fiction of World War I.