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Gennifer Choldenko

Author of Al Capone Does My Shirts

26+ Works 10,378 Members 531 Reviews 2 Favorited
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About the Author

Gennifer Choldenko was born in Santa Monica, California. Gennifer Choldenko is a Newbery Honor-winning American writer of popular books for children and adolescents. Her first novel, Notes From a Liar and Her Dog was named "Best Book of the Year" by School Library Journal and her second, Al Capone show more Does My Shirts, part of Al Capone on Alcatraz series, won the 2005 Newbery Honor citation. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: choldenko.com


Works by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts (2004) 5,600 copies, 330 reviews
Al Capone Shines My Shoes (2009) 1,229 copies, 51 reviews
No Passengers Beyond This Point (2011) 710 copies, 26 reviews
Notes from a Liar and Her Dog (2001) 603 copies, 7 reviews
Al Capone Does My Homework (2013) 541 copies, 20 reviews
If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period (2007) 540 copies, 31 reviews
Chasing Secrets (2015) 270 copies, 20 reviews
Louder, Lili (1657) 187 copies, 12 reviews
Moonstruck (1997) 132 copies, 2 reviews
Al Capone Throws Me a Curve (2018) 129 copies, 4 reviews
Dad and the Dinosaur (2017) 104 copies, 11 reviews
A Giant Crush (2011) 95 copies, 2 reviews
One-Third Nerd (2019) 74 copies, 5 reviews
Dogtown (2023) 63 copies, 3 reviews
How to Make Friends With a Giant (2006) 30 copies, 3 reviews

Associated Works

Guys Read: Thriller (2011) — Contributor — 328 copies, 3 reviews


1930s (99) adventure (50) Al Capone (163) Alcatraz (398) Alcatraz Island (55) autism (449) baseball (86) brothers and sisters (52) California (68) chapter book (71) children (44) children's (127) coming of age (48) family (301) fantasy (83) fiction (484) friendship (186) Great Depression (75) historical (72) historical fiction (665) history (55) humor (100) juvenile (51) juvenile fiction (62) middle grade (63) middle school (70) mystery (76) Newbery (68) Newbery Honor (167) picture book (53) prison (147) realistic fiction (164) San Francisco (102) school (64) series (72) siblings (136) to-read (157) X (61) YA (140) young adult (140)

Common Knowledge



Found: Trapped in brainwashed city fiction in Name that Book (October 2023)


Chris Bancells

Choldenko, G. (2011). No Passengers Beyond This Point. New York: Puffin Books.

Modern Fantasy

Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award Nominee, 2012-13


Selection tools consulted: WorldCat, School Library Journal, Maryland Association of School Librarians Black-Eyed Susan Award Nominee list.


The Tompkins family is in trouble. The bank is foreclosing on their house, despite Mom's desperate efforts, and now India, Finn, and Mouse have to move across the country to live with the Uncle Red. Tomorrow. There's no time to talk, barely time to pack, and, to make it all worse, Mom is staying behind to finish teaching her students. Disgruntled and dysfunctional, the three kids board a plane for Denver, but something strange happens amidst a heavy storm. When they land, they're not in Denver; they've arrived at the mysterious city of Fallen Bird. Here everyone cheers for your arrival, relives your best moments, and leads you to your own, personalized mansion. Life couldn't be more perfect, until "your day" is over. Now, the three siblings are caught in a bizarre world where nothing is clear and the simplest things seem bizarre. Time is running out, and they must make a choice between becoming a citizen of Falling Bird or finding a way back to the life they left behind. This is a stylistic departure from Choldenko's "Al Capone" books and it is riddled with abstract plot holes. Often, events happen which are left totally unexplained, especially as the action transitions between chapters. The ending, in particular, seems rushed and vague, introducing a completely unknown narrator. That said, there is a certain Wizard of Oz quality to the fantasy which may appeal to younger readers. Moreover, the contemporary nature of the story and multiple narrator structure may well compensate for the choppy storytelling when read by the intended audience. Recommended for those interested in abstract stories, as well as fans of non-sword and sorcery fantasy.
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Library_Guard | 25 other reviews | Jun 17, 2024 |
I was trying to show someone how to use the audiobook feature at our library so, after selecting "historical fiction", I randomly selected this book. Initially I wondered if I'd made a mistake when the narrator said he liked something about as much as ... poison ivy(? not sure that was it, but that was the gist of it) on his privates. But that was the last off color remark and I was very soon really enjoying the book. I'd just finished reading "A Friend Like Henry" also about an autistic child, so while this story itself never diagnoses Moose's older sister (until the Epilogue when it explains that no one understood this malady in the 1930's), I recognized the behaviors and found the story very believable, and hope a brother really would be this loving and patient with such a sister.… (more)
TraSea | 329 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |
I read this book aloud to my class. I let them vote and averaged it... 3.68 stars!
Students were asked to give one or two sentence reviews:
"I like the book a lot"
"I would recommend this book because it was very exciting...I always wanted to find out what happened next ... It left me on the edge of my seat".
"I did not like it because I did not really understand it..."
"I loved all the characters. I thought it was interesting and it made me laugh sometimes"
"I didn't understand any of it, but keep trying Mrs. Pacinello!"

I enjoyed reading to my class.
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Chrissylou62 | 329 other reviews | Apr 11, 2024 |
The title threw me off, I expected a book about a jerk kid(since those seem to be painfully popular) but instead this is a sweet story of a boy trying to take care of himself an his older sister who is autistic.
mslibrarynerd | 329 other reviews | Jan 13, 2024 |



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