August 02


Cover Reveal for THE FRIENDSHIP WAR by Andrew Clements

August 2, 2018

West Baldwin, Maine


Dear Fellow Book People—


Many years ago I worked in an old textiles mill that was soon to be remodeled into apartments, and my company was the last to leave the building. One day as I looked through some junk left in a hallway, I found a box of buttons—blue, gray, and brown—all about the size of a quarter, and probably two or three hundred buttons of each color. So I took them home and gave them to our young sons. Instantly, all four of them went bonkers about buttons.


The boys divided them up—mostly by grabbing as I recall—and then those buttons were used for money during games, for strange sculptures involving wire and thread, for bartering and trading, and, of course, for throwing at each other. The blue buttons mysteriously became more valuable than the brown ones, and the browns were more prized than the grays. There was a lot of arguing, a lot of hoarding and hiding, and there were many loud accusations of unfairness and greediness and outright robbery. And then, after only six or seven days, everyone moved on, and those beloved buttons were nothing more than a nuisance, littering the floor of the basement playroom.


During the seven years I was a classroom teacher, I saw the fads come and go—Mexican jumping beans, Pet Rocks, Mood Rings, Wizzzer tops, and Star Wars action figures, to name a few. And as our sons grew up, my wife and I saw more fads arrive and exit, from Pokémon cards to Beanie Babies to Silly Bandz.


But when I got the idea to write about a fad at a middle school, the first memory that skidded into my head was the way our own kids reacted to that box of buttons. And the result of this happy mental collision is this book, The Friendship War—which may seem like an odd title for a book about a fad.


An unlikely fad certainly has a central role in the happenings of this novel. But, as is so often true, what happens in a story is not necessarily what that story is actually about.


Thanks so much for your interest in my writing, and thanks for helping to make reading the one fad that will never die!


And if you’re one of the thousands of teachers who enjoy the wonderful and nearly superhuman work of Colby, Donalyn, Katherine, and Cindy here at the Nerdy Book Club, thank you for all you do for kids, families, your communities, and our world. Your remarkable and unselfish efforts have never been more important than they are right now!


— Andrew Clements

Preorder available at