Friday, May 4, 2012

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Title: Al Capone Does My Shirts
Author: Gennifer Choldenko
Genre: Historical fiction, Middle Grade
Release date: April 20, 2006
Publisher: Puffin
Series: No
Source: School
240 pages
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.

This book was actually assigned to me as a school book. You know, most school books are boring, but I couldn't put this book down. In the book, we have Moose who acts so much older than his age and acts like it to. Then we have his sister that's autistic and the main plot of the book revolves around their family moving to Alcatraz. The book has the convicts in the prison make food, laundry, etc.

I really enjoyed this book. Maybe because Alcatraz interests me, who knows. But it was a different kind of novel, especially a school assigned one. Not many young adult fiction books are written about Alcatraz. I teared up a few times in this book and I could really connect with Moose and his feelings when he was trying to make new friends at school and helping with his sister. Moose is so protective of his sister, and it makes you like him as a character even more. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that many of the characters acted older than the age they were supposed to be.

Through the whole book, you keep asking yourself "How does Al Capone and shirts tie into this novel?" Well, you'll definitely find out at the end. It was a good ending to the book. Defintely different than what I predicted. It was very well written. I wouldn't read it again, but I'd definitely recommend it as a school book.


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