Friday, October 29, 2010

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

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.

I hadn't given any thought to families living on Alcatraz until I read this book. It was really interesting reading about life there.
This is a book about families, relationships and Al Capone.

Moose's family moves to Alcatraz so his family can live closer to a special school for his sister who has a mental handicap. The dad is an electrician for the infamous prison. The mom is focused on making her daughter "normal." And Moose gets left in the dust to make his way around the island, making friends, going to school, playing baseball and trying not to get in trouble with the warden because his daughter is a schemer.

 The author does a good job of putting the reader on Alcatraz. The characters were will done also.
This book is a heartwarming story. I enjoyed watching the relationships change or mature. I especially liked Moose and his sister's relationship.

Rating: G
V: None
S: None

Page 69 Test:
""Yes, she did  For the better part of an hour, I'm afraid Your daughter's voice is quite shrill , and coupled with her early-rising habits..."
"But you think this is something that"--my mother holds up the folded slip of paper--"Mrs. Kelly can help us with."
"Indeed I do," Mr Purdy says, standing up again. He has his good-bye smile on and he's looking at his watch,
"And why is this different for boys?" she asks.
"The boys' cottage is located in the old maids' quarters, which is farther from the neighbors." Mr. Purdy sits down again. He sketches a quick map for us. It looks like a bad pirate's map with X's marked for the treasure.
"Did you take her buttons away?" I ask.
My mom looks at me, then back at Mr. Purdy.
"We can't have a child who screams like a banshee at five-fifteen in the morning in a neighborhood like this. Now, if you'd like to spend some time working with Mrs. Kelly, there's a good possibility she can help Natalie bring this problem under control. I can't promise you, of course, but if Mrs. Kelly feels that Natalie is ready for our program, we'll consider her application again in May."
My mothers is up now, offering her hand to Mr. Purdy to shake. "Of course, my husband and I appreciate all the help you've given us."
In the waiting room Natalie's legs are open, the way my mother always tells her not to sit. She is seated on a needlepoint brocade chair and I see by the way her finger is moving that she is counting the stitches in the seat.
We wait until she finishes the last stitch at the bottom..."

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