Director Christophe Barratier adapts author Louis Pergaud's novel set in the French countryside during World War II, which follows the escalating feud between two groups of youths from rival villages who seek to collect each other's buttons. The children of Longeverne have never liked their peers in the neighboring village of Velran, and as war rages throughout Europe, tensions among the youths spike. But rather than using bullets and guns to defeat their opponents, the children create an innovative new means of achieving victory: Upon capturing one of their adversaries, the conquerors claim the buttons right off of his clothes. At the end of the war, whichever team possesses the most buttons will be the undisputed winner. As a result, 13-year-old Longeverne leader Lebrac and his loyal young army wage a relentless campaign to claim every button from their enemies in Velran. Meanwhile, a pretty young Jewish girl named Violette arrives in Longeverne from the city. For Violette, hiding out with her enchanting aunt Simone is a matter of life or death. And the more time Violette spends in Longeverne, the closer she grows to Lebrac. Before long, it becomes apparent to Lebrac that there's much more at stake in this battle than the buttons on his rivals' jackets.