“The Pushcart War
had a profound impact on me; when I was a kid I devoured it several times, and I’ve carried it deep inside me ever since. The book gave me a point of entrance—my first, I imagine—into the world of resistance to political and economic injustice and chicanery. It made opposition, even non-violent civil disobedience, seem fun and right and necessary and heroic, and something even someone as powerless as a kid could and should undertake.” —Tony Kushner
“Finally, parents can get their hands on new copies of the best book about politics ever written for children…What makes The Pushcart War
so wonderful is not simply its inventive premise or its deftly-sketched cast of characters…These elements alone would have made the book a great deal of fun, but Merrill accomplishes something greater. She manages to put together a plot that introduces children to almost every element of a political controversy…this lively, lovely novel is an argument for staying hopeful about the possibility of bringing about change, even when you are going up against entrenched and powerful interests.” —Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post
“The definitive history of New York’s war between the pushcarts and the trucks is one of those rarities—a book that is both humorous and downright funny. Such a lively book will need little introducing; once a boy or girl discovers it, the news will spread.” —The Horn Book Magazine
“This is satire on almost every conceivable aspect of modern urban life...To all it should be funny, and to many it will have the disturbing ring of truth.” —School Library Journal
, starred review
“An utterly captivating book...the satire cuts deep into some of our most hallowed institutions. Best of all, the dialogue and situations are irresistibly funny.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Merrill’s story, full of unexpected reversals and understated witticisms, feels exceptionally modern. And by the end—after the two sides have hammered out a peaceful and deeply reasonable compromise—one can only hope that we’ll catch up to Merrill’s future one day.” —Adam Mansbach, NPR, You Must Read This
"I’ve been reading Jean Merrill’s The Pushcart War
(NYRB’s fiftieth anniversary edition) to my son every night, a few chapters at a time...In truth, I’m as excited as he is to read it. The tale of New York’s pushcart peddlers waging war against the monstrous, bullying trucks is droll—as are Ronni Solbert’s illustrations—but its message remains urgent; Merrill writes expansively, giving air to the intrigue, to the peddler’s personalities, and to what’s at stake for people who don’t have money or influence...[A]n entertaining lesson on nonviolent civil disobedience, standing up for the rights and the dignity of the little guy, and how to make a sturdy peashooter." —Nicole Rudick, The Paris Review
"This is one of the great children's classics, the tale of how a dispute between delivery truck drivers and pushcart vendors blossomed into full-scale armed conflict. Part of its charm is its old-New York quaintness, but the exciting story, set in the pressure-cooker of city traffic, is timeless.” —Sonja Bolle, Knoxville News
--This text refers to the
The pushcarts have declared war! New York City's streets are clogged with huge, rude trucks that park where they want, hold up traffic, and bulldoze into anything that is in their way, and the pushcart peddlers are determined to get rid of them. But the trucks are just as determined to get rid of the pushcarts, and chaos results in the city.
The pushcarts have come up with a brilliant strategy that will surely let the hot air out of their enemies. The secret weapon--a peashooter armed with a pin; the target--the vulnerable truck tires. Once the source of the flat tires is discovered, the children of the city joyfully join in with their own pin peashooters. The pushcarts have won one battle, but can they win the war against a corrupt mayor who taxes the pins and prohibits the sale of dried peas?