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Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer…
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Al Capone Does My Shirts (2004)

by Gennifer Choldenko

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,0743171,822 (3.98)123
Recently added bymckmanes, private library, Ntyrrell, Brenda_Zehnder, Avasara, Nikkinikster
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» See also 123 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 316 (next | show all)
I did not like this read. I really wanted to, my daughter and I had recently been to Alcatraz and she spoke highly of this book. I, I was disappointed. Rather than being about anything on the cover, title included, this book was mostly about a family learning to deal with their autistic daughter/sister. Definitely not what I was expecting. The characters are mostly dislikable - "Moose" whines a lot, the mom seems crazy, and Piper is a horrible, horrible girl. Over and over, I wondered what was wrong with these people, but not really caring at all. I will not be reading more in this series.

p.s. - I know this is a children's book, but it could easily be used for a drinking game! The author uses the name of the "Esther P. Marinoff School" more often than the "f" word is used in the movie "Midnight Run"! If you drink when you see those words, well, you ain't making it very far in these pages! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | May 19, 2019 |
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.
  dneirick | May 7, 2019 |
Irene Mele says: I felt they did feeling really well (like in the ending Moose and his family were surprised) and the descriptions, such as when the characters were having arguments.
Mary Helene Mele: I was surprised at the memories this evoked! How very true to our emotions this narrative is. Thank you for the recommendation, Irene! ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
Juvenile Historical Fiction, chapter book, grades 4-12
The story is written in the form of vignettes almost like journal entries. It takes place in 1935 and the main character’s name is Moose. Moose’s family moves to Alcatraz and his father is a prison guard. Moose’s sister Natalie has some type of social or intellectual disability and the family struggles with that. The book is well written and interesting and gives a good look at what life was like for the civilian families that lived on the island as well showing a character with a disability. ( )
  ebroph2 | Apr 11, 2019 |
30. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. 1935 is a life changing year for Moose Flanagan and his family. Twelve year-old Moose's father has found work on Alcatraz Island and that means the family has to move to the island, living in an apartment building just minutes away from the cell block that houses famous criminals like Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. There are a handful of children on the island, including Piper, the spoiled daughter of the warden who gets the other kids in trouble and pushes Moose around. He also resents having to care for his older sister Natalie after school every day as his parents work all the hours they can to raise money for her behavioral treatments. Throughout his problems, Moose looks forward to playing baseball at school.
This is a really well done story of a boy with bigger family problems than most. ( )
  mstrust | Apr 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 316 (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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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.
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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.

» see all 3 descriptions

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