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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
3,1472401,783 (3.99)82
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)

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» See also 82 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 240 (next | show all)
This book is based on Al Capone, the prisoner at Alcatraz. The main character helps in the laundry room at the prison where he family works and lives.
  mollybeaver | Dec 18, 2014 |
I really liked Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. I enjoy historical fiction books. They give someone a way of learning things without feeling like they’re reading a textbook. One reason I liked this book were the facts. I’m sure most people know Alcatraz held prisoners. But I had never known people lived on the island with them. I thought it was a great way to talk about life on Alcatraz Island from a much different perspective. Moose is just a kid trying to live a normal life with his family on the same island as notorious criminals. Through this storytelling the author is able to include a lot of facts about the history of Alcatraz Island and how it ran. Another reason I liked this book were the extra resources. The author included a map in the front of the book which helped connect parts of the story while reading. She also included a lot of information in Author’s note in the back of the book as well. Things talked about in the story were given more factual detail. Things like how many families lived on the island and even that nine babies were born on the island are just some of the facts given. It also details if anyone was ever hurt living on the island mentioning the “unwritten n rule” between inmates and family men. I feel that the main idea of this story is growth. Not only in the sense of age but in relationships. Moose’s relationship with his mother grows throughout the book. His relationship with his sister and classmates also grow in this book. It is an important theme because everyone is constantly growing. ( )
  EmmaBrockwell | Nov 18, 2014 |
I had mixed feeling about this book. One of the reasons why I liked the book was because of the character development. In the beginning of the story Moose resented his sister Natalie because one of the reasons why his family moved away was because of her. Moose was very upset that he had to leave his friends and school. and make all new friends at his new school. Moose also resented his sister because he had to watch after her and deal with all of her tantrums while his Mother was working, due to Natalie getting rejected from the special school. Then as the book progressed, Moose stopped resenting his sister and had her best interests at heart. He wrote Al Capone a note for the purpose of trying to help Natalie get accepted into the special school. One of the reasons why I didn’t like the book was because it did not contain many historical information or elements for being a historical fiction book. Since the book was set in the 1930’s I would have liked to see more examples of how life was during this time period. I also did not like how the title of the book contained Al Capone, but information about Al Capone was hardly mentioned in the book. The main ideas presented in the book were prejudices, family responsibility, and fairness. ( )
  Germuth | Nov 14, 2014 |
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked the book because it was interesting to learn about something in history through a story. I didn't love the book because it wasn't very interesting and engaging for me as a reader. The language in the book is descriptive and clear. The writing is organized and the plot flows. The characters are believable and realistic. I believe the family shows examples of a real family with how they deal with their daughter Natalie and the difficulties that the family goes through. There are no illustrations in the book because it is a chapter book. Since it is a chapter book with no illustrations, I believe the language and writing could have been more descriptive so the reader could create a picture in their head more easily. The book is about a family who moves to the prison Alcatraz. The main character is a young boy who goes through a series of events while adjusting to living to a new place with his sister and new friend Natalie. The big idea of the book is history, family, new experiences, and new situations. ( )
  smeyer8 | Nov 10, 2014 |
I liked this book for many reasons. One of these reasons happens to be the genre of the book. I love historical fiction mainly because I like history. The setting of the novel is the Alcatraz prison during the year 1935. The story is told by the point of view of a young boy named Moose Flanagan. Throughout the story it is funny to see how he thinks and talks about certain conflicts or situations. The plot was well organized and paced well. There wasn’t to much going on with small conflicts Moose would run into throughout. One happened to be when Piper gets him into a scam telling all of their schoolmates that Al Capone could was their laundry for three dollars. (This however was a lie) The characters were well developed and I was able to get a sense of what the main characters were like, (Moose’s Mom, Piper, Moose, Natalie and Scout). You got a feel for Moose especially. He’s a good kid at heart however finds himself in tough situations. He describes himself as a “Good Moose. Obedient Moose. I always do what I’m supposed to do”. You can tell by his caring for his mother. He doesn’t like to disappoint her and is always helping her out. He looks after his sister frequently throughout and is always doing chores around the house like washing dishes. The use of words and language allows the reader to connect. The conversations between friends really relates to a young reader and the way they talk to their friends. Friends are always questioning how they know information. Piper talks about stuff throughout the book like, “Capone’s mom is coming to Alcatraz” and Moose quickly responds “Yeah right, how do you know that?”. The writing allows Moose to give his views of what’s happening. It was crazy to see, when he lost his sister, the thoughts going through his head. The big idea to this novel was to show the inner thoughts of a 12-year-old boy and to show the reader how he handles every day situations. ( )
  JordanMyers | Nov 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 240 (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.
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:44 -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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