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The Pushcart War


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The New York Review Children's Collection is thrilled to announce the publication of children's books in paperback, now including Jean Merrill's classic The Pushcart War--first published fifty years ago, and anew by NYRB in Fall 2014. Merrill's timeless tale 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.

About the Author

Jean Merrill (1923-2012) was an American children's book writer and editor who grew up in upstate New York. She wrote more than thirty children's books, including The Black Sheep, The Toothpaste Millionaire, The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars, and The Pushcart War, for which she is best known. In March 2015, The New York Review Children's Collection will publish Merrill's The Elephant Who Liked to Smash Small Cars, with illustrations by Ronni Solbert. Ronni Solbert is a children's book illustrator and author. She was a frequent collaborator with Jean Merrill until the author's death in 2012. She lives in Vermont.


"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 nonviolent 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. . . . 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 "A book about friendship and sticking together and sticking up for yourself, especially against The Man. Plus it'll just make you feel all warm and fuzzy." --Emily Temple, Flavorwire "This is one of the great children's classics. . . . 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, Newsday "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 "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 "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." --Nicole Rudick, The Paris Review blog "There's a children's book that was of great help to me, The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill. It is quite a wonderful description of how to run a campaign." --Bill McKibben, The Boston Globe

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