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Al Capone Does My Shirts
Contributor(s): Choldenko, Gennifer
ISBN: 0399238611     ISBN-13: 9780399238611
Publisher: Putnam Pub Group
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover - Other Formats
Published: March 2004
Qty:
Annotation: Set in 1935, when guards actually lived on Alcatraz Island with their families, Choldenko's second novel brings humor to the complexities of family dynamics and illuminates the real struggle of a kid trying to free himself from the "good boy" stance he's taken his whole life.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Autism; Fiction.
Family problems; Fiction.
Brothers and sisters; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Siblings
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | Law & Crime
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2002031766
Lexile Measure: 600
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Series: Al Capone
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 1.00" (0.80 lbs)
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 74909
Reading Level: 3.5   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 7.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q36125
Reading Level: 4.7   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 13.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
Moose Flannagan moves with his family to Alcatraz so his dad can work as a prison guard and his sister, Natalie, can attend a special school. But Natalie has autism, and when shes denied admittance to the school, the stark setting of Alcatraz begins to unravel the tenuous coping mechanisms Mooses family has used for dealing with her disorder.

When Moose meets Piper, the cute daughter of the Warden, he knows right off shes trouble. But shes also strangely irresistible. All Moose wants to do is protect Natalie, live up to his parents expectations, and stay out of trouble. But on Alcatraz, trouble is never very far away.

Set in 1935, when guards actually lived on Alcatraz Island with their families, Choldenkos second novel brings humor to the complexities of family dynamics and illuminates the real struggle of a kid trying to free himself from the good boy stance hes taken his whole life.


Contributor Bio(s): Gennifer Choldenko is the New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor Award-winning author of ten children's books, including Notes From a Liar and Her Dog, If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, No Passengers Beyond this Point, Al Capone Does My Shirts, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, and Al Capone Does My Homework. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Fall)
When his father gets a job as an electrician at Alcatraz, Moose's family moves to the famous prison island. Against this vividly evoked setting, Moose butts heads with the warden's scheming daughter and gets help from a surprising source for his older sister, who exhibits the symptoms of autism (the book is set in 1935, before the disease was identified). The solid novel concludes with a historical note. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2004 February #1)
Set on Alcatraz Island in 1935, Choldenko's (Notes from a Liar and Her Dog) exceptionally atmospheric novel has equally unusual characters and plot lines. Twelve-year-old narrator Moose Flanagan has just moved to the island, where his father has been hired as an electrician and guard. At first Moose is spooked at being in such close proximity to the nation's most notorious criminals, and he doesn't know what to make of the all-powerful warden's bossy daughter, Piper, who flouts her father's rule about talking about the convicts ("You say [Al Capone's] name and hordes of reporters come crawling out of the woodwork ready to write stories full of foolish lies," the warden explains). At school, on the mainland, Piper hatches a scheme to make money from classmates ("Once in a lifetime opportunity! Get your clothes laundered by Al Capone and other world-famous public enemies!... Only costs 5 cents") and forces Moose to help her. Moose has reasons for staying on Piper's good side: his older sister, Natalie, has what would now be called autism, and Moose worries that her behavior will land the family in trouble with the warden. (Natalie's condition is so poorly understood that an expert tells her desperate mother, "An interesting case... you should consider donating her brain to science when she dies.") Choldenko captures the tense, nuanced family dynamics touched off by Natalie's disability as skillfully as she handles the mystique of Alcatraz and the exchanges between Moose and his friends. Fast-paced and memorable. Ages 10-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2006 April #3)
In our Best Books citation, PW said of this tale set in 1935, "Choldenko captures the tense, nuanced family dynamics touched off by the narrator's sister's disability as skillfully as she handles the mystique of Alcatraz." Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2004 March)
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.