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Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer…

Al Capone Does My Shirts (original 2004; edition 2006)

by Gennifer Choldenko

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3,2982561,655 (3.98)105
Title:Al Capone Does My Shirts
Authors:Gennifer Choldenko
Info:Perfection Learning (2006), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:Alcatraz, history, historical fiction, family, middle school, humor

Work details

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko (2004)

  1. 00
    The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Both books deal with the relationship between an autistic adolescent and a sibling.
  2. 00
    Holes by Louis Sachar (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: With offbeat characters and distinctive settings, these well-paced, affecting and funny novels are about compassionate boys: Moose, caring for his autistic sister on Alcatraz Island (Al Capone); Stanley, who escapes from a juvenile detention camp to help another inmate (Holes).… (more)
  3. 00
    Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  4. 00
    How to Talk to an Autistic Kid by Daniel Stefanski (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: Very short book that explains what it's like to have autism, and what you can do to help if you know someone with autism.
  5. 00
    Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (kaledrina)

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» See also 105 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 256 (next | show all)
This is a story about a boy whose family has just moved to Alcatraz Island and he has to adjust to the new surroundings of living by a prison, dealing with a new school and trying to make friends, as well as continue to navigate the tough situation his sister is in because she is autistic and in the 1930's that was not something that was widely talked about or accepted. The boy, nicknamed Moose finds new friends who also live on the island and they get into all sorts of trouble with their different schemes and Natalie, Moose's sister is trying to get into a special school. Moose learns a lot about himself, and his sister and what it means to be a good brother and friend and what trying to do the right thing throughout this book. There are no illustrations because this is a chapter book well suited to later elementary age students or middle schoolers. I think this is a fantastic book for discussions about understanding what disabilities are and specifically autism. It talks about the good parts and the difficult parts of knowing someone with autism and how they deal with that. I think that it also allows for discussion about fitting in and making friends when you are put in a new place or situation, such as moving. There are students who can relate to both of those topics. Teachers could use this book as an option for small group "book club" reading times in their classrooms. It is a fun book because of the interesting setting and can also spark good discussion. ( )
  cpaavola | Sep 27, 2015 |
This book was actually pretty good, I liked how they used Al Capone. This story followed this young boy, Moose and his sister, Natalie. Natalie has autism and her mother wasn't the most accepting of her disability. Moose spends most of his time taking care of his sister while his dad works as a prison guard at Alcatraz. I thought the message was to treat others how you would like to be treated, and family should always help one another. These were the messages because I couldn't get over the fact that the mom was trying everything to get Natalie away, and wasn't accepting of Natalie for who she was. ( )
  sceres1 | May 4, 2015 |
I LOVED this book! I just happened upon it too-it was only like a dollar through scholastic. So I wasn't expecting much, but now I'm wondering how nobody has ever mentioned this book to me before. Such a cute coming-of-age story set in a very unique setting. Also, I loved the insights to autism. Wow, it would be hard to live with that. I loved the voice, it drew me in from the very beginning and never let up. It's one of those books I wish I knew how to write, one of the better kids' books I've ever read. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
This book was an all right book about a boy who goes to live on the island of Alcatraz with his family. I did not like the title of this book. Although the title does grab the reader’s attention, it is a misinterpreted view of the stories plot. For example, I assumed the story would be about a boy’s adventures with Al Capone and some of the other prisoners in Alcatraz. In the book, Al Capone does appear in the story and help Moose and his family in a way but the story is mainly directed towards Moose’s sister and his family. I felt the story could of added a little more detail on Al Capone himself whose name grabbed the reader’s attention in the first place.
I did enjoy how the author created a story based of the children who lived at Alcatraz. When people think of Alcatraz, we think of the deserted island and the horrible criminals who were there. We never think of the families who also had to live there because their parents worked on the island. Hearing the views of a young boy on Alcatraz lets the reader understand a point of view of someone who did nothing wrong but still lived on the island. For example, Moose at first was scared to live on the island and one night Moose even slept with all his clothes on, scared that he will be attacked by convicts.
The big idea in this book is to have the importance of family and to love and support each other. In the beginning, Moose is irritated by his father for always working, his mother for making him move and his sister for acting out. Soon Moose realized that they made sacrifices for him and it is his turn to do the same for them. ( )
  Toconn2 | Apr 18, 2015 |
I think this is a fun book to read with 5-8 grade students. While reading it with my 5th grade boy, we ended up talking about a lot of the different themes woven into the story, including autism and the history of Alacatraz. ( )
  Josh.Hegna | Apr 12, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 256 (next | show all)
Author Choldenko has written a funny and clever middle grade novel about a boy named Matthew (Moose) Flanagan who is living on Alcatraz Island with his family. The family has moved to the Island because Moose's father has found work as an electrician, and because his sister Natalie, who is autistic, can go to a good school nearby. Moose is not happy about living on the island, especially after meeting the Warden's daughter Piper who is bossy and a bit of a troublemaker. Moose's father has warned him to stay out of trouble because he needs this job and Natalie needs to go to the special school. Moose's life becomes miserable when Piper involves him and a few other island kids in a moneymaking scheme to have their schoolmates' clothes laundered by the convicts on Alcatraz Island. Piper tempts her school chums by claiming that Al Capone, the famous gangster, may even wash their shirts. The scheme falls apart when the Warden finds out what his daughter and friends are up to. Then, to make matters worse, the school that Natalie attends doesn't want her and she has to come home. Moose winds up watching her and has to forego his Monday after-school baseball game. This is an amusing book about interesting characters placed in a different and unlikely setting and trying to make the best of their situation. 2004, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Ages 10 up.

added by sriches | editChildren's Literature, Della Yannuzzi (Jul 24, 2009)
In 1935, notorious gangster Al Capone is one of three hundred convicts housed in the maximum-security penitentiary on Alcatraz Island. Twelve-year-old Moose Flanagan also lives on the island. His father has taken a position as an electrician and guard at the prison in hopes that Moose's sister, Natalie, will be accepted at a special school in nearby San Francisco. Not only has Moose been forced to leave friends behind and move with his family to a fortress island, but he also cannot play baseball or make new friends now because he is stuck taking care of his sister whenever he is not in school. Natalie is afflicted with the condition now known as autism, and even at age sixteen, she cannot be left unsupervised. Everyone in the family has been under a strain because of Natalie's special needs. Meanwhile Piper, the warden's pretty, spoiled daughter, makes life complicated for Moose. The island's residents have their laundry done by the convicts, and thrill-seeking Piper drags Moose into her wild stunt of marketing Al Capone's laundry services to their middle school classmates in San Francisco. But when his family desperately needs a break in their efforts to get help for Natalie, Moose knows that only Piper has the connections and the audacity to help him pull off a reckless scheme involving the island's most famous inmate. Choldenko, author of Notes from a Liar and Her Dog (Putnam's, 2001/VOYA August 2001), weaves three As—Alcatraz, Al Capone, and autism—into an excellent historical novel for middle-grade readers. A large, annotated 1935 photograph of Alcatraz Island and an informative author's note give substance to the novel's factual sources. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J (Betterthan most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2004, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 240p., Ages 11 to 15.
added by sriches | editVOYA, Walter Hogan (Jul 24, 2009)
Gr 6-8-In this appealing novel set in 1935, 12-year-old Moose Flanagan and his family move from Santa Monica to Alcatraz Island where his father gets a job as an electrician at the prison and his mother hopes to send his autistic older sister to a special school in San Francisco. When Natalie is rejected by the school, Moose is unable to play baseball because he must take care of her, and her unorthodox behavior sometimes lands him in hot water. He also comes to grief when he reluctantly goes along with a moneymaking scheme dreamed up by the warden's pretty but troublesome daughter. Family dilemmas are at the center of the story, but history and setting-including plenty of references to the prison's most infamous inmate, mob boss Al Capone-play an important part, too. The Flanagan family is believable in the way each member deals with Natalie and her difficulties, and Moose makes a sympathetic main character. The story, told with humor and skill, will fascinate readers with an interest in what it was like for the children of prison guards and other workers to actually grow up on Alcatraz Island.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
added by sriches | editLibrary Journal, Miranda Doyle (Jul 24, 2009)
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To my sister, Gina Johnson,
and to all of us who loved her--
however imperfectly.
First words
Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Matthew Flanagan detto Moose e la sua famiglia si trasferiscono a vivere sull’isola di Alcatraz, famosa per il penitenziario dove fu rinchiuso anche Al Capone, oltre ai più pericoli malviventi e delinquenti negli anni ‘40 e ’50. Lo scopo dei Flanagan, in particolare della madre è preciso: desiderano che Natalie, sorella maggiore di Moose, una ragazza autistica, possa essere accolta in una prestigiosa scuola del luogo, forse per lei l’unica speranza di qualche miglioramento e inserimento nella vita collettiva. Tra nuove amicizie, partite di baseball e avventure buffe o drammatiche trascorrono sei mesi fondamentali per la vita di tutti i Flanagan, e Al Capone (forse) ne è anche un poco responsabile, chissà…
(Charles Duff Description Below)
Quite an amazing setting indeed, young Moose Flanagan lives on Alcatraz Island with his mother, Guardsman father, and his younger sister Natalie.  Right from the get go, we learn as a reader that Natalie is special.  She is able to compute numbers in seconds and have fascinations with certain objects.  As Moose tries to navigate and interact with his schoolmates, namely the uppity daughter of the Warden, Piper, Moose must protect and care for his sister.  As a class read for a 3rd or 4th grade class, the teacher could ease students into learning about Autism.  As entertaining as the book can be, it can also be used for constructive conversations on disabilities, namely Autism.  For more teaching resources on Autism, check out:http://www.autism-pdd.net/testdump/te...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142403709, Paperback)

Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water. I'm not the only kid who lives here. There's my sister, Natalie, except she doesn't count. And there are twenty-three other kids who live on the island because their dads work as guards or cook's or doctors or electricians for the prison, like my dad does. Plus, there are a ton of murderers, rapists, hit men, con men, stickup men, embezzlers, connivers, burglars, kidnappers and maybe even an innocent man or two, though I doubt it. The convicts we have are the kind other prisons don't want. I never knew prisons could be picky, but I guess they can. You get to Alcatraz by being the worst of the worst. Unless you're me. I came here because my mother said I had to.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:05 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.

(summary from another edition)

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