By: Gennifer Choldenko Grades: 4-6 Ages: 10+
About Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
The Newbery Honor Book and New York Times Bestseller that is historical fiction with a hint of mystery about living at Alcatraz not as a prisoner, but as a kid meeting some of the most famous criminals in our history. Al Capone Does My Shirts has become an instant classic for all kids to read!
Today I moved to Alcatraz, 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 are twenty-three other kids who live on the island because their dads work as guards or cooks or doctors or electricians for the prison, like my dad does. And then 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.
Set in 1935, when guards actually lived on Alcatraz Island with their families, Choldenko's second novel brings humor to the complexities of family dynamics.
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.
Awards for Al Capone Does My Shirts
A Newbery Honor Book
A New York Times Bestseller
A People magazine "Best kid's Book"
An ALA Book for Young Adults
An ALA Notable Book
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Krikus Reviews Editor's Choice
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Parents' Choice Silver Honor Book
A New York Public Library "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing" Selection
A New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age
Reviews of Al Capone Does My Shirts
*"Choldenko's pacing is exquisite. . . . [A] great read."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
*"Exceptionally atmospheric, fast-paced and memorable!"--Publishers Weekly, starred review
*"The story, told with humor and skill, will fascinate readers."--School Library Journal, starred review
"Al is the perfect novel for a young guy or moll who digs books by Gordon Korman, or Louis Sachar."--Time Out New York for Kids
"Funny situations and plot twists abound!"--People magazine
"Heartstopping in some places, heartrending in others, and most of all, it is heartwarming."--San Francisco Chronicle
A Brief Biography of Gennifer Choldenko
Gennifer Choldenko is the New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor Award-winning author of ten children's books, including Notes From a Liar and Her Dog, If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, No Passengers Beyond this Point, Al Capone Does My Shirts, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, and Al Capone Does My Homework. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.