Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Al Capone Does My Shirts (original 2004; edition 2004)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,1873261,858 (3.96)136
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.
Title:Al Capone Does My Shirts
Info:Recorded Books (2004), Audio CD
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko (2004)

  1. 00
    The London Eye Mystery by Siobhán 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)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 136 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 325 (next | show all)
Good YA novel with insights into autism and the history of Alcatraz prison. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
In the 1930s, Moose Flanagan moves with his family from Santa Monica to Alcatraz Island, where his father has gotten a job as an electrician and a guard; the family moved, in part, in the hopes of Moose's sister Natalie getting into the Esther P. Maranoff school for disabled children. But Natalie doesn't get in, and she becomes Moose's responsibility after school when their mother goes to San Francisco to teach piano lessons. Moose loves Natalie and doesn't always agree with his mom about what's best for her; he's also frustrated that he isn't able to play baseball with his friends after school. There aren't many other kids his age on the island, and the one who is - Piper - is the warden's daughter. Piper is sweet-faced but full of schemes and mischief; ultimately, though, Moose takes a leaf out of Piper's book and sends a letter to Al Capone to ask for his help getting Natalie admitted to the school. ( )
  JennyArch | Sep 19, 2021 |
I remember liking this when I was in middle school, it doesn't seem to have held up well now that I'm an adult. ( )
  nagshead2112 | Apr 27, 2021 |
I remember liking this when I was in middle school, it doesn't seem to have held up well now that I'm an adult. ( )
  nagshead2112 | Apr 27, 2021 |
The main character is Moose Flannigan, 7th grader, who is dragged to Alcatraz for the benefit of his sister getting into a specialized school. Moose is a very likeable character obsessed with baseball and finds it frustrating when he can’t play ball because he has to babysit his older sister.

The interaction between Moose and Natalie is the main focus of the story. Natalie is special and Moose feels very protective of her around strangers. The relationship between Moose and Natalie grows as her behavior changes and normalizes through her special education classes. One of the most memorable scenes in the book is when Moose is trying to keep Natalie in the apartment and it brings on one of her fits and in the end they both understand each other a little better.

The one thing missing from this book is responsible adults. Moose’s parents are so absorbed with Natalie and making money to support the family that they forget to be parents to Moose. It also seems the rest of the kids on the island have little parental supervision which gets them into trouble often. However, without the troubles the story wouldn’t have much excitement.

Al Capone is in the title, but really is not a character in this book. They talk about him and allude to his presence, but the book is about the kids living on Alcatraz. However, book number two in the series, AL CAPONE SHINES MY SHOES, provides a closer look at the prisoners themselves. ( )
  pjburnswriter | Oct 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 325 (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)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.96)
1 3
2 41
2.5 8
3 182
3.5 58
4 394
4.5 56
5 248

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 188,900,750 books! | Top bar: Always visible