Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Caryn Lazar Amster  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Chicago History Chicago in the 1950's and 60's Non-Fiction True Crime

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1941 in Warren, Ohio

-- Website --
-- Caryn Lazar Amster on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Amster was raised in and still lives in a Chicago suburb.

Biographical and Professional Information

Caryn Lazar Amster, a marketing specialist in Chicago, grew up working side by side with her parents in Wee Folks, their South Shore toy store. "The Pied Piper of South Shore, Toys and Tragedy in Chicago" is her first book. A portion of the proceeds from its sale will be donated to Women's American Ort in honor and memory of her mother, Belle Lazar.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Pied Piper Of South Shore
ISBN: 0975892800

Cma Marketing Group. 2004

This true crime memoir of Chicago toy storeowner, Manny Lazar, known as the Pied Piper of South Shore, is set primarily in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood in the 50's and 60's. It is the story of the life and death of this beloved retailer told in the 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 neighborhood in which each fell prey to the brutality of of gangs. It is the story of loss and survival, even forgiveness.


  • Writer's Digest International Self Published Books Award in 2006 for Family Stories and Biography category
  • USA Book News- Best of 2004 for True Crime category

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Topics include Marketing and Public Realtions Telling and Selling Your Family Story Planning, Writing and marketing Your Own Book Be a Business Success Story, Marketing Your Onw Book The Basher Experience - for Jewish audiences - on experiences involved in writing my true family story.