This true crime memoir of Chicago toy storeowner, Manny Lazar, known as the Pied Piper of South Shore, is set in Chicago's South Shore neighbourhood in the 50's and 60's. It is the story of the life and death of this beloved retailer told in gritty detail by his elder daughter. The author takes readers from Russian persecution to American freedom, from Hula Hoops to hit men, from murder to trial. It's the story of two children of immigrants, their American dream, and their richly diverse neighbourhood in which each fell prey to the brutality of gangs. It is the story of loss and survival, even forgiveness. A foreword by Mandy Patinkin, a long time customer, thanks Mr. and Mrs. Lazar for providing a place to dream. Two appendices reveal how some of the most popular toys of the 50's and 60's got their start and recall the stores along 79th Street in South Shore. The book cover by fine artist Mitch Markovitz is available as both posters and prints. A portion of the book proceeds will be donated to Women's American ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation and Training).
Caryn Lazar Amster