A Brief book review of Al Capone Does My Shirts (SPOILER FREE) by Maleeka
To be honest. I will never be able to describe how wonderful this fictional piece of literature is or how much I enjoyed reading the Al Capone Does My Shirt trilogy when I was still in middle school. I literally grew up with this series and I must admit that it is one of the best young adult books I have ever picked up. I mean, it doesn’t have as much action as most YA books out there, but the storyline itself is pretty unique. An excellent read for anyone looking for any non-cliché stories out there.
Matthew ‘Moose’ Flanagan leaves behind his former house, school, and friends to move San Francisco Bay’s most treacherous high-security prison on Alcatraz, holding California’s most notorious gangster, Al Capone. The first few days on Alcatraz are pretty hard for Moose to put up with, he’s barely able to get any sleep over his constant worrying about his father’s well being as a security guard at the prison and having to watch over his older sister until his parents are able to get Esther P. Marinoff, a school for autistic, to accept his sister, Natalie. Overtime, Moose and Natalie begin to befriend some of the other children living a on the island. Moose eventually comes face to face with Piper, the warrant’s daughter, who manages to persuade Moose into helping her with a money scheme involving Al Capone and other prison convicts. However, Moose has a different plan in mind. One that involves Al Capone assisting in making Natalie’s life a bit more normal, but his plan soon backfires on him when one of the convicts from the island befriends Natalie. Will Moose be able to help his sister get into Esther P. Marinoff? Will he ever be able to figure out the identity of the convict that befriended Natalie, or how he even knew of his sister’s existences? Find out by reading Gennifer Choldenko’s Al Capone Does My Shirts!
Even though Al Capone Does My Shirts is intended to be a book for 10-14 year olds I would have to give it an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed the way Gennifer Choldenko incorporated an autistic character into her story, but I would have really enjoyed it if she included a little bit more interaction between Natalie and the rest of the characters. It would’ve of also been nice to see how things were before Moose and his family moved to Alcatraz, kind of like a flashback a few years before moving to the island, but I understand that Choldenko wanted to focus more on the present than her character’s past. It was still an amazing read nevertheless.