The Pushcart War

The Pushcart War


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"The best book about politics ever written for children." —The Washington Post

50th Anniversary Edition, now in paperback


It’s a story of how regular people banded together and, armed with  little more than their brains and good aim, defeated a mighty foe.

Not long ago the streets of New York City were smelly, smoggy, sooty, and loud. There were so many trucks making deliveries that it might take an hour for a car to travel a few blocks. People blamed the truck owners and the truck owners blamed the little wooden pushcarts that traveled the city selling everything from flowers to hot dogs. Behind closed doors the truck owners declared war on the pushcart peddlers. Carts were smashed from Chinatown to Chelsea. The peddlers didn’t have money or the mayor on their side, but that didn’t stop them from fighting back. They used pea shooters to blow tacks into the tires of trucks, they outwitted the police, and they marched right up to the grilles of those giant trucks and dared them to drive down their streets. Today, thanks to the ingenuity of the pushcart peddlers, the streets belong to the people—and to the pushcarts.

The Pushcart War was first published more than fifty years ago. It has inspired generations of children and been adapted for television, radio, and the stage around the world. It was included on School Library Journal’s list of One Hundred Books That Shaped the Twentieth Century, and its assertion that a committed group of men and women can prevail against a powerful force is as relevant in the twenty-first century as it was in 1964.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590179369
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 09/29/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 150,091
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 10 - 13 Years

About the Author

Jean Merrill (1923–2012) was born in Rochester, New York, and grew up on a dairy and apple farm near Lake Ontario. She received a master’s degree in English literature from Wellesley in 1945 and later studied folklore in India on a Fulbright fellowship. She worked for many years as an editor at Scholastic Magazine, Literary Cavalcade, and the publications department of Bank Street College before turning to writing full time. Her first book, Henry, the Hand-Painted Mouse, was published in 1951 and her last, The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars: A Twelfth-Century Tale from Japan, in 1992. In between she wrote some thirty books for young readers, including The Pushcart War (1964), The Elephant Who Liked to Smash Small Cars (1967; available from The New York Review Children’s Collection), and The Toothpaste Millionaire (1977).

Ronni Solbert (b. 1925) was born in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Vassar and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. As a Fullbright recipient she studied folk and tribal art in India. She has illustrated more than forty children’s books and written and illustrated three of her own. As a painter, sculptor, and photographer she has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad.

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Pushcart War 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Esta1923 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A truly grand book. (Classified as "for children and intelligent grown-ups"). I read it when it was new, and shared it then with Girl Scouts (who, in turn, shared it with their parents). The Stillwater OK newspaper published a long review I'd written, so more folks got it. . . and I even wrote a fan letter to Jean Merrill. Obviously I hope you who read this will track it down. You will be rewarded.
kaionvin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The war on the city streets between the carts and the trucks starts one day when Mack the Mammoth-Moving driver guns his engine to ram into the Morris the Florist's cart-- an event heretofore known as The Daffodil Massacre.Part parable, part satire, The Pushcart War is a vaguely charming look at conflict and grass-roots 'politics' as it were... comprised of misunderstanding/miscommunication, business interests, solidarity, propaganda, and old-fashioned can-do attitude. While I enjoyed it conceptually, in practice I found Merill plays it generally one-note. Ronni Solbert's sparse ink and watercolor illustrations definitely add much of the value here.It's all a bit simplistic in its portrayal of right and wrong (some of the tactics used by the protagonists were awfully low). And while I applaud the ambitious topic in a book for children... it could've done much more in addressing the complexities rather than resting on a 'precious' idea.
AlexTheHunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book as a child. It was enchanting - delightful. This was one of the first times I ever saw something written as a future history. I was enthralled by the device. The gentle humor combined with the environmental and social message has proven eerily accurate and precient.
TonyT2 More than 1 year ago
Morris and Frank and their fellow pushcart-owning friends are being forced off the streets by the mayor, who is in the pocket of the Big Three trucking company decide to fight back. Fine social satire. Inspiring, and very, very funny.
Louisie More than 1 year ago
cute novel.  simple David vs. Goliath story but with NYC pushcarts vs. trucks.  truly entertaining for children, but mostly adults, I think!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My teacher read me this good i highly recommend it u ve gotta read it before u die. U only live once ya know
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Pushcart War was a really good book. It's funny, unpredictable, and overall has a good plot. It could have been more attention-grabbing but other than that has no flaws. I think it was a fun read and you should try it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great. It is funny, It's cleaver it's smart. One of the greatest book's I have ever read. If you have not read this book you should read it. This is one of my favorite book's ever. It teaches a valubale lesson
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a funny book! #1!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful! One part was boring when they were in a meeting but it was a wonderful book... Many parts will make you laugh or get in shock.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My class also read it and we found it to very funny. I think it was humour that my class needed. We are used to reading sad and woeful stories, buy now we have read this book, and it has given humour.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this bood with my class and it was good. We all laughted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this was the best book I've read other than 'The Davinchi Code'.I think this book should be for anybody that can read.It would be good for kids or adults that are about 10 through 30.I think that anybody would like this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was a great book i would reccomend it to anyone who can read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i thought this book was boring and stupid. the rest of my peers feel the same way i do but maybe our perciption of the book is worse than most because we had to read it in class but we felt that this book was poorly written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Pushcart War is a great book for all ages. It is smart, yet witty. I would recomend it to everyone I know. You would love it! Buy in at Barns & Noble Bookstore...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember my 5th grade teacher, Miss Kilgore, reading this book to our class in 1978. It was fun then and it is fun now. I am reading it to my 8 year old son. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the book very much but I thought that the best part was when the pushcarts won the war and everybody was dancing in the streets! I reconmend that you read this book! ~Represent~
Guest More than 1 year ago
Only a loser could give this book a 1 star. Living in New York this book adds real details and I can match the descriptions to real life. This book is very funny and I recommend it to anyone, any age. This book has a great moral.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A tale about the pushcart peddlers and the massive trucks, who block the streets of New York. The Pushcart peddlers are fed up of being pushed around by the bossy truckers. They fight back! I found it wonderfully told and if your looking for a page turner, your search is over
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading the Pushcart War. This book has history and has true facts but it also is in a story form that makes it fun to read! I would recomend this book to readers out there who like nonfiction books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The PushCart War is a great book and I enjoy reading it. You'll love this adventurous book with many twists and turns!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book was a lot of fun to read. It is funny with an exciting fictional twist. This boook has a very unique theme which makes it great to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was reading this for a class and it was so funny and satirical I laughed every momoent, practically!