The Friendship War

208p. Random. Jan. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399557590.
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.

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