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

by Gennifer Choldenko

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5822771,473 (3.98)110
Member:ccostakis
Title:Al Capone Does My Shirts
Authors:Gennifer Choldenko
Info:Perfection Learning (2006), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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 110 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 276 (next | show all)
I would use this book as an independent read for grade 5. I would use it for this grade because it is a chapter book and as an independent read because it discusses things not suitable for all children in the grade or things that they would not understand. Students would like this book though because it is about an interesting topic and the children in the book are a few years older than the 5th graders.
  brandi3325 | Mar 27, 2017 |
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age: Middle
Review/Critique: A teenage boy named Moose moves with his autistic sister to Alcatraz because his father is a security guard there. He goes through a rough time trying to adjust to his sisters condition and make friends on the island and at school. Throughout the book he starts to adjust to his life better and learns to appreciate his sister more. I won't spoil the ending. This book is historical fiction because it is a false story about a boy who live in the historical period of Alcatraz being a prison. ( )
  jessminson | Feb 27, 2017 |
I can't say much as it's been a long while since I read it, but it's amazing and it's the reason I'm interested in Al Capone. ( )
  kyndyleizabella | Jan 23, 2017 |
This is the second time I read this book and enjoyed it even more the second time. I think the name is wrong beause the money making plot for selling laundry was only a small part of the story but I guess that's ok. The book is really all about Natalie and what is to become of her. I was very upset when the warden blamed Moose for the laundry scheme but not half as upset when his father came down on him so hard just for knowing about the plot even though he really didn't take part in it. That would have been a hard one for a kid to rat out the only friends he has. But in the father's defense, when you have a pretty good job in the heart of the depression, you can't let anything jeopardize it even if you have to compromise a situation. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
This was a great example of historical fiction. I really enjoyed the characters and the development of the story and the world. I think students struggling to get into historical fiction (especially boys) would enjoy this book (and series) because it draws you in and gives you factual information in an entertaining way. It was easy to relate to and recommended to me by several 8th grade students. ( )
  dingesa27 | Dec 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 276 (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)
 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age: Middle
Review/Critique: A teenage boy named Moose moves with his autistic sister to Alcatraz because his father is a security guard there. He goes through a rough time trying to adjust to his sisters condition and make friends on the island and at school. Throughout the book he starts to adjust to his life better and learns to appreciate his sister more. I won't spoil the ending. This book is historical fiction because it is a false story about a boy who live in the historical period of Alcatraz being a prison
 
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my sister, Gina Johnson,
and to all of us who loved her--
however imperfectly.
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Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water.
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Book description
Moose's family moves to a island thats population is made up of some of the most dangerous criminals. Moose struggles with loosing his childhood bestfriend, family struggles and the succlusion of the island.
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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