Al Capone Does My Shirts: Book summary and reviews of Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts

By Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2004,
    228 pages.
    Age range: Young Adult


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Book Summary

Moose Flannagan moves with his family to Alcatraz so his dad can work as a prison guard and his sister, Natalie, can attend a special school. But Natalie has autism, and when she’s denied admittance to the school, the stark setting of Alcatraz begins to unravel the tenuous coping mechanisms Moose’s family has used for dealing with her disorder.

When Moose meets Piper, the cute daughter of the Warden, he knows right off she’s trouble. But she’s also strangely irresistible. All Moose wants to do is protect Natalie, live up to his parents’ expectations, and stay out of trouble. But on Alcatraz, trouble is never very far away.

Set in 1935, when guards actually lived on Alcatraz Island with their families, Choldenko’s second novel brings humor to the complexities of family dynamics and illuminates the real struggle of a kid trying to free himself from the “good boy” stance he’s taken his whole life.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"With its unique setting and well-developed characters, this warm, engaging coming-of-age story has plenty of appeal, and Choldenko offers some fascinating historical background on Alcatraz Island in an afterword." - Booklist.

"Natalie's story is an important thread, sensitively handled. But what stays in the mind is the teeming mini-society of the island, where guards' families really did live and where a kid really might have encountered Al Capone, an inmate at Alcatraz from 1934 to 1939." - The Washington Post.

"The freshest voice since Gantos’s Joey Pigza...the most inventive setting since, well, ever. Breezy with a solid gold center." - Time Out New York Kids.

"Sprinkled with so many gems that it's impossible to pick one. Highly recommended." - Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"Fascinating setting as a metaphor for Moose's own imprisonment and enabling some hysterically funny scenes, but a great read no matter where it takes place." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Rena
Good Book :
This book is actually really good!! We are reading in my class... were almost done... buy it now!

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Umbershelon
Yes this is my name!
My name is Umbershelon! That is my name for Pete's sake!!!

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Author Information

Gennifer Choldenko Author Biography

Gennifer Choldenko's first novel, Notes from a Liar and Her Dog, was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a California Book Award winner. Her second novel, Al Capone Does My Shirts, was a Newbery Honor Book and a School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Al Capone Does My Shirts has sold more than a million copies worldwide. It has been on the New York Times, Booksense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. Her most recent picture book, A Giant Crush (illustrated by Melissa Sweet), was published in 2011. If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, an ALA notable recording, just came out in paperback, and her novel Al Capone Shines My Shoes—a sequel to the beloved Al Capone Does My Shirts—is a Kirkus, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chicago ...

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