Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

From The Vault


Moose Flanagan has just moved to one of the most secure places in the world. Alcatraz. His dad had just got a job there as an electrician. His mother is hoping to send her autistic daughter Natalie to a special school there. But when Natalie is rejected from the school, Moose has to look after her so his mom can work and this means he cannot play baseball with his new friends. Family troubles are the main topic in this book. But friend issues and trying to see or hear something from the most famous prisoner there, Al Capone. This story is told with humor and shows what life is like on an island with some of the most dangerous men in the world.


When my mom recommend this book for me to read I immediately thought “NO.” Why, you ask? Well, it was because I thought the book was too child-ish. (you know – not cool) I though the topic would be too baby-ish, ┬áthe book was small and I like reading big books (Harry Potter, War and Peace, Encyclopedia Britannica….you get the idea.) But my mom said that since it was for grades 5-8, it was a good read for me. So I reluctantly read it. But I was surprised to find out that I actually liked it. This book was funny, cute and had emotion. Gennifer Choldenko described the feelings that each character had and portrayed Natalie very well. She got the emotions perfectly and made the book real.┬áNatalie was written very well. She is autistic and would throw fits and not move for hours on end. She could not live without her buttons. If you took them from her she would throw a fit and not stop screaming. She had emotions and she was also really smart. Moose was very unhappy to have to look after Natalie but managed with it very well.

Despite my first impression I though that this was a really good book, a good read and I would recommend others to read it.