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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
3,5482751,491 (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 274 (next | show all)
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 |
In 1935, Moose & his family move to Alcatraz where his father has taken two jobs to try and support the family while Moose's sister goes to a “special” school: Natalie is autistic. Natalie's illness (and the family's various reactions to it) completely control the family dynamics, and Moose is getting tired of a father who's never around and a mother who only seems to care about his sister. When Natalie's future is endangered, Moose calls on the only person he can think of to help: Prisoner AZ 85—Al Capone. ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
This book was about a boy who moved to Alcatraz with his family. His dad was one of the guards. Moose lived with his mom, dad and his autistic sister Natalie. At first Moose hated living there, none of his friends were there and he wasn't able to play baseball, plus he was embarrassed by his sister. He met the Wardens daughter, piper who seemed to be in charge of all the kids on the island. She was mean, bossy and if the other kids didn't do as she asked she would tell her dad and they would get into trouble. There were very strict rules for living on the island. One day Piper came up with the idea to charge kids in the school to do their laundry. She convinced them that Al Capone would be the one that was washing the clothes and it would be worth lots of money. Moose refused to help her, but the other kids not he island were afraid to tell her no, so they helped smuggle the school kids' laundry in with their own. They were caught and even though Moose wasn't apart of it, he got into a lot of trouble. Moose's mom was obsessed with "fixing" Natalie, and spent a good deal of her time convincing others that she was ten (she was really 15) and trying to get her into schools. She was finally able to get her in, but before that Moose was responsible for her, he wasn't allowed to play baseball with his friends because he had to take care of his sister. Eventually the group of kids he hung out with on the island came to except Natalie for who she was and as a part of their group, and in the end her mom was able to get her into a good school that promised to help her. Moose ended up liking the kids on the island and was happy to be there.
  sabrenarose | Oct 28, 2016 |
This is a great read for kids in middle school. It has some history of Alcatraz, which can be very interesting for kids to learn about. The author also does a great job at putting the reader in the shoes of Moose.
  katiegotur | Aug 1, 2016 |
Basically it's just a modern fairy tale. Moose has to go on a quest, break through some disguises, overcome some ogres, and rescue the princess. It's engaging and gracefully written, but it just doesn't resonate like a classic fairy tale. And it's too damn sad & awful to be enjoyable.* Thankfully, it does have a sort of an HEA.


*I do try to go along with GR's interpretation of stars and 'enjoy' is one of the key words. I must say I did not actually enjoy this book. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 274 (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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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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