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Al Capone Shines My Shoes (2009)

by Gennifer Choldenko

Series: Moose Flanagan (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9485415,545 (3.87)36
Moose Flanagan, who lives on Alcatraz along with his family and the families of the other prison guards, is frightened when he discovers that noted gangster Al Capone, a prisoner there, wants a favor in return for the help that he secretly gave Moose.
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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Although I thought it was a pretty good sequel, for a read aloud it is not as engrossing as the first novel.
Some of my students lost interest as I read. Others did enjoy it. Still, I would recommend it for students to read by themselves if they enjoyed the first novel. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
Digital audiobook narrated Kirby Heyborne.

Book two in this entertaining middle-school series, set on Alcatraz Island during the Great Depression. Moose Flanagan’s dad is a guard at the maximum security prison, and the family lives in the apartments provided for workers and their families. His sister, Natalie, has a condition that is apparently autism (though that diagnosis wasn’t used in this time frame, so it is never identified as such), and attends a special boarding school. But she comes home for a visit during a school holiday and that coincides with some major events on the island.

I was completely charmed by the first book, and certainly interested in this second outing. The relationships between the kids seem real to me. Moose is unfailingly “nice” to everyone, and so is liked by both kids and adults. He’s passionate about baseball, and has a huge crush on the warden’s daughter, Piper. His gang of friends includes Jimmy, who is terrible at sports but fascinated by insects, Annie, who can throw better than most boys, and Theresa, a wise-beyond-her-years 7-year old who is Jimmy’s little sister.

Moose deals with many of the things most 12-year-olds have to face, including bullying, peer pressure, and adults who don’t understand him. But he’s also burdened by a unique relationship with one particular inmate: Al Capone.

Kirby Heyborne does a find job narrating the audiobook. He’s a little less successful trying to voice the various female characters, though he does a reasonably good job with Natalie and Theresa. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 3, 2020 |
A sequel that is every bit as good as the first.
About six months have passed since "Al Capone Does My Shirts" ended. Moose is living with his parents on Alcatraz, friends to one degree or another with the handful of other children of guards who live on the island, but his sister (who would today be identified as highly autistic) has been at the special school that Moose got some unexpected help getting her into.
Moose finds a note in his pillowcase telling him what Al Capone wants from him as a return favor for arranging to get Natalie in the school. When his wife, Mae Capone, comes to visit him, Moose is to make sure she gets yellow roses. Moose gets Annie and Jimmy to help him in trying to get the roses.
But when Natalie comes home for a few weeks break from her special school, new problems begin to arise, and Moose never knows when he should tell someone or when he should keep quiet about things.
Like the first book, it had a perfect last page. ( )
  fingerpost | Nov 19, 2019 |
The follow-up to Al Capone Does My Shirts, twelve year old Moose and his family are still residents of Alcatraz, where his father is a guard. At the end of the last book, Moose had sent a secret note to the island's most famous convict, Al Capone, asking if he could get Moose's sister accepted into a school for children with special needs. Now we see that Natalie has been accepted and leaves for San Francisco, giving Moose and his parents some time for themselves. Soon after, a note from Capone comes to Moose, instructing the kid about how to pay the mob boss back. Moose has more problems too, as his best friend often won't talk to him, and the bratty warden's daughter wants romance but everyone warns Moose that it's a bad idea. ( )
  mstrust | Jul 31, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Perhaps the most astonishing accomplishment of "Al Capone Shines My Shoes" is that Choldenko audaciously introduces us to the legendary Al Capone and gives him flesh and spirit of a very human kind.

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Average: (3.87)
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2 2
2.5 3
3 30
3.5 15
4 63
4.5 9
5 25

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