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The Resource Al Capone does my shirts, Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone does my shirts, Gennifer Choldenko

Label
Al Capone does my shirts
Title
Al Capone does my shirts
Statement of responsibility
Gennifer Choldenko
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
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
Member of
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 2005
  • Garden State Teen Book Award (New Jersey), Fiction (Grades 6-8), 2007.
  • California Young Reader Medal, Middle School, 2007.
  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2005
  • School Library Journal Best Books, 2004.
Review
  • Gr. 5-8. Twelve-year-old Moose moves to Alcatraz in 1935 so his father can work as a prison guard and his younger, autistic sister, Natalie, can attend a special school in San Francisco. It is a time when the federal prison is home to notorious criminals like gangster Al Capone. Depressed about having to leave his friends and winning baseball team behind, Moose finds little to be happy about on Alcatraz. He never sees his dad, who is always working; and Natalie’s condition-- her tantrums and constant needs--demand all his mother’s attention. Things look up for Moose when he befriends the irresistible Piper, the warden’s daughter, who has a knack for getting Moose into embarrassing but harmless trouble. Helped by Piper, Moose eventually comes to terms with his new situation. With its unique setting and well-developed characters, this warm, engaging coming-of-age story has plenty of appeal, and Choldenko offers some fascinating historical background on Alcatraz Island in an afterword. -- Ed Sullivan (BookList, 02-01-2004, p976)
  • /* Starred Review */ 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 --Miranda Doyle (Reviewed March 1, 2004) (School Library Journal, vol 50, issue 3, p203)
  • /* Starred Review */ 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.) --Staff (Reviewed February 2, 2004) (Publishers Weekly, vol 251, issue 5, p78)
  • /* Starred Review */ Moose's world is turned upside down when his family moves to Alcatraz Island where his Dad has taken a job as a prison guard. Super-responsible Moose, big for 12, finds himself caught in the social interactions of this odd cut-off world. He cares for his sister who is older, yet acts much younger due to her autism and he finds his life alternating between frustration and growth. His mother focuses all of her attention on ways to cure the sister; his dad works two jobs and meekly accepts the mother's choices; his fellow island-dwellers are a funny mix of oddball characters and good friends. Basing her story on the actual experience of those who supported the prison in the '30s—when Al Capone was an inmate—Choldenko's pacing is exquisite, balancing the tense family dynamics alongside the often-humorous and riveting school story of peer pressure and friendship. Fascinating setting as a metaphor for Moose's own imprisonment and enabling some hysterically funny scenes, but a great read no matter where it takes place. (lengthy author's note with footnotes to sources) (Fiction. 11-14) (Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2004)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
123862
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1957-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Choldenko, Gennifer
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
600
Intended audience source
Lexile
LC call number
PZ7.C446265
LC item number
Al 2004
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 6
  • 8
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Al Capone at Alcatraz
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • United States Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island, California
  • Alcatraz Island (Calif.)
  • Autism
  • Family problems
  • Brothers and sisters
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
Al Capone does my shirts, Gennifer Choldenko
Instantiates
Publication
Note
Originally published: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2004
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (p. [227]-228)
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
225 p.
Isbn
9780142403709
Isbn Type
(pbk.)
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o65399723
  • (OCoLC)65399723
Label
Al Capone does my shirts, Gennifer Choldenko
Publication
Note
Originally published: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2004
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (p. [227]-228)
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
225 p.
Isbn
9780142403709
Isbn Type
(pbk.)
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o65399723
  • (OCoLC)65399723

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793
    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797

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