The Biggest Pest on Eighth Avenue is a hilarious early reader about hidden talents and theatrical aspirations. AAAEEEYAH! There goes Mary Lou’s brother again. Now he’s actually on top of the garage.
How are Mary Lou, Leo, and Lynn supposed to get ready to put on The Haunted Castle of Doom when Tommy keeps pestering them?
The play is about to start and they haven’t even had time to rehearse yet. It’s going to be a disaster! The show must go on.
Reviews and Comments
“Lawlor’s text offers some spunky dialogue…cheery illustrations.” (Publishers Weekly)
A Note from Laurie
The Biggest Pest on Eighth Avenue is based on the antics of Laurie Lawlor’s real-life younger brother, who (in the book) saves the day when the neighborhood kids’ play is a disaster and who (in real life) always did have theatrical aspirations and grew up to become talented Broadway playwright David Thompson, with plays like Chicago (the 1996 revival), The Scottsboro Boys, and Steel Pier to his credit.
According to Laurie, he really did do the pesky things Tommy does in the book, including trying to flush himself down the toilet. She says of the plays they put on as kids, “He was the perfect fearless hero or dastardly villain, the only one who could make dramatic death-defying leaps from the garage roof or top of a step ladder. My poor grandmother declined over baby-sitting again after Tommy repeatedly practiced running, diving, and ‘surfing’ down the second floor stairway on his stomach. His continuing bravery came in very handy once he reached Broadway!”
Laurie attributes her and her brother’s creative successes in large part to their childhood experiences. As the eldest of six children, Laurie learned to create scary stories about various parts of their house in order to achieve some peace and quiet for herself. Plus, their mother “never came outside to help sew costumes or paint scenery … [she] left us alone and did not bother us as long as we did not burn the garage down. Her non-interference was indeed a gift!”
written by Laurie Lawlor
illustrated by Cynthia Fisher
Holiday House, 1997
Please look for this book at
your favorite public library
or used bookseller.