The Friendship War

The Friendship War

by Andrew Clements
The Friendship War

The Friendship War

by Andrew Clements


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A fabulous school story about fads and friendship from the bestselling author of Frindle.

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. 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 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 6th grade, she'll have to figure out a way to end the fad once and for all. But once a fad starts, can it be stopped?

"A fun, charming story about fads and the friendships that outlast them."—Booklist

"On-point."—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399557620
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 01/07/2020
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 84,031
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

ANDREW CLEMENTS is the New York Times bestselling author of the beloved modern classic Frindle, which has sold over six million copies, won nineteen state awards (and been nominated for thirty-eight!), and been translated into over a dozen languages. Andrew began writing while a public school teacher outside of Chicago. Visit Andrew online at

Read an Excerpt

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:






Text me as soon as you land.




Your plane should have landed by now.




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?”




“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.

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