I hit the ground running when I got back from my Portland-DC-Boston trip. As most of you know, I’m moving at the end of the week. However, there were hurdles to jump before then. I had a writing deadline last night. I had books to pack. I had signed the lease to the new place and sent a check but my check hadn’t been cashed and my new landlady is in a house without electricity or phone most of the summer. I tend to worry about things like this.

I’ve been couchsurfing because my current landlady’s son just got married and the house is full of their family and a little too crazy for sleeping in. On my way to dinner with friends, I saw my new landlady’s car in the driveway and pulled on in. I’m still not used to this “stopping by” way of getting things done but it works better than any other method I have yet to try out.

Stopping by netted me the key to the place and information on how to get the electricity turned on. There is one key and it is on a paperclip along with a little piece of tape that says FLAT on it. I also got a copy of The Pushcart War. I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but my new landladies are the writer/illustrator of that book respectively. Today I’m going to walk over and take a few photos with whatever available light there is there and maybe take some measurements. The place is small, just a few rooms, but it has nice windows and big wide floorboards and it’s quiet and there’s a tree outside of every window.

What do you think?


  1. The Pushcart War!

    Now I’m going to have to search for a copy…

  2. Funny – The Pushcart War is honestly the first pleasure book I remember reading in school. It must have been around fifth grade, and the teacher had a shelf of books in the classroom. I picked this one because it had the word “war” in the title, and liked it so much I read it twice (my favorite parts were coming up with the idea to use peas and straws, and the person who did it by hand). I had this book so long the teacher made me give it up so someone else could read it, and she gave me The Pigman instead. But I never forgot how the little guy can fight back and win. I think it’s time to reread it – thanks for reminding me of it.

  3. Get out!! I have loved The Pushcart War from a young bookish child, when I saw it reviewed in Cricket Magazine (I think). So funny to think that the author & illustrator are real people who live in a house that someone I know will be renting–when I read the book I didn’t quite understand that books were written by actual humans, and I guess have retained a little of that belief about my childhood books ever since.

  4. I first discovered The Pushcart War as an older teenager, and absolutely adored it– but now I’m scratching my head trying to remember what the “target age” really is– in other words, should I pick up a copy for Astrid (10), or wait a few years?

  5. THE PUSHCART WAR? obsessed. obsessed with that book. i am envious.

  6. Another enthusiastic reader of The Pushcart War here! I hope that you will tell your new landladies of all their fans. When I was in Grade 6 my family moved to a suburb of Philadelphia for a year and lived in the house of a family that was going to live in Austria for a year. It was in this house that I found The Pushcart War. It was here, also, that I found Cress Delahanty which led me to be a fan of the other Jessamyn West, which of course eventually led me to you! PS: I’m also a fan of The Soul of a New Machine.

  7. M and I love The Pushcart War. I reread it a few years ago and realized it was much more than a whimsical, folkloric kids’ book — it’s really about the strategies and tactics of direct action. And that’s not all.

  8. Another thumbs-up for The Pushcart War. I think I first read it in 4th or 5th grade and I probably haven’t seen a copy of it in 3 decades, but I still remember it quite well and can even visualize some of the illustrations. I agree that it seems like a kind of handbook of direct action. And I further agree that the “target age” is a bit of a mystery.

    If I find another copy I’ll put it next to “The 100 Dresses” by Eleanor Estes.