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The Pushcart War (1964)

by Jean Merrill

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0301814,702 (4.24)18
The outbreak of a war between truck drivers and pushcart peddlers brings the mounting problems of traffic to the attention of both the city of New York and the world.
  1. 10
    The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: this is about a cricket that was took by the subway to NYC and makes new friends! A boy named Mario finds the cricket and keeps him as a pet! the cricket helps with their work at the subway.
  2. 00
    Tepper Isn't Going Out: A Novel by Calvin Trillin (bluehighlighter)
    bluehighlighter: Featuring a similar, slyly comic writing style, that "New York" feeling in the prose and dialogue, and some form of rebellion against a large and cantankerous foe.

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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
harvey read this to us in 5th or 6th grade. loved it at the time.
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
You know you have created great characters when one of them is in the book for literally three paragraphs and every fan just needs to know that you are talking about the book to make the immediate connection and go "Oh, she was great. I love her."
The book as a whole is a great introduction to fiction history, those lovely books that are completely made up but they sound so real.
I'm never visiting NYC in early July and I'll probably pass on visiting any parks no matter what. ( )
  Wanda-Gambling | May 9, 2020 |
I loved this book as a little boy, especially because of the menacing pea-pins and the story of the little guys winning. It's a little easy on the pigs and legislative reforms, but it's still really cute and I like that it's a children's book with no dumbass children in it. ( )
  magonistarevolt | Apr 28, 2020 |
I was so excited to read The Pushcart War on the recommendation of a good friend with impeccable taste, and I couldn't help picking it up far sooner than I planned. Besides the great merit of my friend's recommendation, I knew I was going to love the book as soon as I peeked at the beginning. I was already grinning and laughing during the clever, tongue-in-cheek foreword and introduction. Both were, clever, hilarious, and utterly awesome, and the rest of the book was just as hilarious and amazing. As a bonus, my younger siblings loved the book when I gave it to them before reading it myself. My teenaged brother read it in a single evening and raved about it, spurring me to read it even sooner, and began reading it aloud to our elementary-aged youngest sister as soon as he had finished it himself.

Well, the book more than lived up to all that hype and expectation! I loved it even more than I'd hoped.

I laughed my way through the entire book, chuckling or guffawing out loud countless times. It's a hysterically funny book--and a wonderful, entertaining story. The clever wit, tongue-in-cheek satire, humor, and puns throughout had me laughing out loud every page or two. I love the framing device of the story that the author uses to explain her role in writing it--the pretend premise the author keeps from the beginning of the book. It's hilarious and so clever, but I won't spoil what it is.

It's also incredibly clever and intelligent, and I'm amazed at the author's masterful ability to fulfill the purpose of the book--to portray how wars work in a way anyone can understand. It kept blowing my mind as I read. I admire her ability to simplify the complex events of every war that's ever occurred, and portray them in a way that is incredibly simple and easy to understand--showing all of it by an incredibly funny and engaging story, and teaching important, valuable lessons in the process. I'm in awe. I definitely better understand how war works after reading this book, even as an adult and lover of history. I kept thinking about various aspects of World War II as I read, since the book mirrors it so well. The author must understand these things so well to be able to teach it in such an accessible way, and her wisdom shines clearly throughout the book.

I loved the characters so much, and heroes and villains alike were fabulously unique and well-developed. Each character was vivid and lifelike, and I enjoyed every single one. I adored each one of the pushcart peddlers and their allies--who were sweet, endearing, and spirited. I gladly cheered them on and rooted for them to win against the evil bad guys. And the antagonistic characters were each despicable to varying degrees, understandable, and well-rounded--never one-dimensional. They really demonstrated how figures of corrupt power work, with manipulation, lies, and brute force. Also, I really, really enjoyed the author's fabulous portrayal of wonderful female characters along with the very awesome male characters--the women had just as huge and strong and important and integral a role as the men, and the men actively showed respect and equality towards them, which is very nice to see. In addition, the children in the book are given an active, essential, and exciting role that young readers will delight in, even if most of the characters and important roles are adults.

In all, The Pushcart War was amazing, hilarious, fun, clever, witty, heartwarming, satirical, wise, exciting, intelligent, hysterically funny, and riotously entertaining. It became a new favorite of mine as soon as I read it, and I easily and immediately decided to give it five full stars without a bit of my usual hesitation and deliberation. I only wish I had known about it as a kid, but better late than never--and I'm glad my siblings can enjoy it at a young age, even if I couldn't. ( )
  Aerelien | Mar 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Merrill, Jeanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ciardelli, CaraCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cumberly, LymanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hammer, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leone, TonyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scribner, JoAnnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Solbert, RonniIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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FOR Milton, Martin, Morris, Moses, the two Michaels, and the other truck drivers I have known in and around Tompkins Square Park, AND FOR Mary, who will always blow up a picture if necessary
First words
As the author says in her introduction, it is very important to the peace of the world that we understand how wars begin. (FOREWORD, by Professor Lyman Cumberly, December 2, 2036)
As it has been only ten years since the Pushcart War, I was surprised when one of my nephews a few months ago looked puzzled at the mention of a Mighty Mammoth. (INTRODUCTION, Jean F. Merrill, October 14, 2036)
The Pushcart War started on the afternoon of March 15, 1998, when a truck ran down a pushcart belonging to a flower peddler.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The outbreak of a war between truck drivers and pushcart peddlers brings the mounting problems of traffic to the attention of both the city of New York and the world.

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Average: (4.24)
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3 16
3.5 9
4 39
4.5 7
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