MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Shines My Shoes

by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko X
Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2009, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2011, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry
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About this Book

Book Summary

Moose and the cons are about to get a lot closer in this much-anticipated sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts. Recommended for ages 10+.

Moose and the cons are about to get a lot closer in this much-anticipated sequel.

It’s 1935. Moose Flanagan lives on Alcatraz with his family, the other families of the guards, and a few hundred no-name hit men, con men, mad dog murderers and a handful of bank robbers too. And one of those cons has just done him a big favor.

You see, Moose has never met Al Capone, but a few weeks ago Moose wrote a letter to him asking him to use his influence to get his sister, Natalie, into a school she desperately needs in San Francisco. After Natalie got accepted, a note appeared in Moose’s freshly laundered shirt that said: Done.

As this book begins, Moose discovers a new note. This one says: Your turn. Is it really from Capone? What does it mean? Moose can’t risk anything that might get his dad fired. But how can he ignore Al Capone?

1. THE CREAM OF THE CRIMINAL CROP

Monday, August 5, 1935

Nothing is the way it’s supposed to be when you live on an island with a billion birds, a ton of bird crap, a few dozen rifles, machine guns, and automatics, and 278 of America’s worst criminals—“the cream of the criminal crop” as one of our felons likes to say. The convicts on Alcatraz are rotten to the core, crazy in the head, and as slippery as eels in axle grease.

And then there’s me. Moose Flanagan. I live on Alcatraz along with twenty-four other kids and one more on the way. My father works as a prison guard and an electrician in the cell house up top. I live where most of us “civilians” do, in 64 building, which is dockside on the east side of Alcatraz—a base hit from the mobster Al Capone.

Not many twelve-year-old boys can say that. Not many kids can say that when their toilet is stopped up, they get Seven Fingers, the ax murderer...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Al Capone Shines My Shoes is the sequel to Choldenko's celebrated Al Capone Does My Shirts. Twelve-year old Moose Flanagan continues his account of life on the Rock and the conflicts and crises that beset the isolated community of cons, guards, mothers and kids who call it home. Moose's voice - so true, so funny, so boyish, so irreverent - will make you want to stand up and applaud Choldenko's bravura encore... The plot carries the reader along and provides genuine suspense, but the novel's greatest achievement is the creation of the inner worlds of its characters: all complicated, turbulent, alive, surprising, sweet and deep...continued

Full Review (578 words).

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(Reviewed by Jo Perry).

Media Reviews

The Christian Science Monitor
Although “Al Capone Shines My Shoes” is a fast-paced adventure story, the subtle underlying messages are worth hearing... a very exciting, can’t-wait-to-see-what-happens-next story. Kids and their grown-ups are going to love this one.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer
... the cast of characters brims with life. Moose's pure-boy voice is wonderful, and the historically accurate details fascinate.

Horn Book
Choldenko delivers a crowd-pleasing sequel to her Newbery Honor-winning Al Capone Does My Shirts.

Booklist
An enjoyable, stand-alone sequel.

Publishers Weekly
It takes....100 pages for the tension to ratchet up, but fans of the first book will enjoy getting reacquainted.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Choldenko hits a grand slam...Effortless period dialogue, fully developed secondary characters and a perfectly paced plot combine to create a solid-gold sequel that will not disappoint. Ages 10+.

School Library Journal
This is superlative historical fiction, but it will be most appreciated by those familiar with the first book.

Reader Reviews

david kenny

al capone shines my shoes
This is the best book ever!

Rose

Awesome!
I thought this book was very good. I think you would have to have read the first book if you would like to read this one. One thing happened after another which made the book suspenseful. I give the book an A! :.D

C.White

Excellent job Ms. Choldenko!
I used this book as a novel study for my class and they absolutely loved it! Unbelievably, when I told my students there homework was to read chapters 6 - 10 all students came back reading more than I expected! Even the ones who don't usually do ...   Read More

SchoolGirl

I NEED HELP!!!!
Can some one please tell me how the problem with Moose owing Capone was solved. Thanks so much, please help.

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