Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

I think about going in my room now, but it smells like the inside of an old lunch bag in there. My bed’s a squeaky old army cot. When I sit down, it sounds like dozens of mice are dying an ugly death. There’s no phonograph in this apartment. No washing machine. No phone. There’s a radio cabinet, but someone yanked the workings out. Who gutted the radio, anyway? They don’t let the criminals in here…do they?

Do you enjoy epic stories about historical fiction, criminals, and how life still rages on despite everything? Then this is the book for you. Al Capone Does My Shirts is about a young man named Moose Flanagan who, against his will, moves to Alcatraz Island during it’s boom days. Moose never wanted to leave his home in sunny SoCal. But Natalie, his sister, has a “mental defection”, so their parents decide to move to San Francisco so Natalie can attend a special school. It works out for everyone- Natalie gets help, his dad gets a job, his mom meets friends- except for Moose. Who wants to live on a bird-turd mount of cement? But who would’ve known that the move would bring friends, enemies, convict baseballs, cute girls, and more? Join Moose in this great novel of the twists and turns of a not-so-ordinary boy’s life on a-not-so-ordinary street, and I promise you’ll love it.

This is a great story about finding yourself and accepting change. I recommend this book for grades 4 and up. This Newberry Honor winning book is one of my personal faves (obviously) and I hope you’ll give it a try!



3 thoughts on “Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

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