Book Review: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Moose Flanagan left his home, his school and his baseball team behind when his dad was hired as a guard on Alcatraz Island in 1935, prompting a move for the whole family. Moose’s older sister, Natalie, is severely autistic, and his dad took the job to put them all closer to a program that claims to be able to “cure” her. Now Moose is working to make new friends, including the warden’s daughter who has a knack for getting into trouble, and find his place in his family while coming to terms with his sister’s illness.

Al Capone Does My Shirts takes us through the difficulty of being 12 and trying to fit into a new life while giving us a great glimpse of Alcatraz in the 1930s when infamous criminals like Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly were residents on “The Rock.” Moose’s authentic voice is delightful to follow as he weaves his story and comes to terms with his new situation.

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