Al Capone Does My Shirts

Written by Gennifer Choldenko

Reviewed by Claire S. (age 11)

Al Capone Does My Shirts illustration will appear here.

These guys in Alcatraz are not your average neighbors! In the book Al Capone, Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko, Moose, 13 years old, and his sister Natalie, 16 year sold, move to Alcatraz. Alcatraz is a place with criminals, murderers, hit men, conman, stickup men, embezzlers, burglars, kidnappers, and maybe even an innocent man or two! Things there are...well not normal.

In this Newbery book winner, the criminals, murderers, and all those other people are the least of Moose’s worries. His big worry is that he has to fit in a new school with new friends and deal with a sister who has autism! I think that Moose should just calm down and act like a normal kid with a normal sister.

Piper, the warden’s daughter, she wants to start a business charging fifty cents to get your shirt cleaned by Al Capone. Piper went to school and the kids at school would take off their jackets, sweaters, and even socks to give them to Piper. She then gave them to Al Capone in the laundry room to wash. Piper is one of the most stuck up characters you will ever meet. Though this does not stop me from liking Piper, she may be stuck up, but she has a good heart inside.

Moose struggles during this story with his sister’s disability. “It’s not like Nat, really needs me, but she doesn’t get in my way either,’’ Moose thinks to himself. I think this is important because Moose is trying to show how he really feels about his sister. Moose feels like I do sometimes, I love my brother, but sometimes I wish I was an only child.

Mr. and Mrs. Flanagan think about sending Nat to a different school. It is called Esther P. Marinoff. This school will help Nat become like a normal sixteen year old kid. I think it is the right chose to send Nat there, but Moose is not happy. I believe this school will help Nat and make her feel better about herself.

This book is so funny, so sad, not too scary, and very good. Nothing really bad happened, but at the same time you will wish that it never will end! If you decide to read this book you will absolutely love it, because you can’t put it down.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves excitement and laughter!

Claire S. is a student in Ms. Roberts 4th-5th Grade Class
2011-2012