Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko Book Talk By: Stephanie Boswell
Imagine living on Alcatraz….. ….next door to some of the worst criminals of the 1930’s, such as Al Capone, aka Scarface, and Machine Gun Kelly.
Al Capone Does My Shirts takes place… …on the island of Alcatraz in 1935. Alcatraz is a 12-acre rock with more cement than grass and is located in the middle of the San Francisco Bay.
There are several characters in the book. One of the main characters is Matthew Flanagan, but everyone calls him Moose. Matthew received the nickname Moose from his older sister Natalie. Moose is 12 years old.
Natalie….. …has autism, but this disease is not discovered until 1943, so nobody knows how to help her. Natalie is 15, loves to count, play with buttons, and read indexes.
There are many other kids on the island … …including Piper, the warden’s daughter. Piper is also 12 and is always looking for fun, but often risks getting into trouble. Her father thinks that she is a good kid who doesn’t break the rules.
Al Capone Does My Shirts contains many themes such as family. The Flanagan’s are trying to find help for Natalie. Mr. Flanagan takes jobs as a prison guard and an electrician, to be closer to a new school. Moose finds it hard to help his family and be with friends.
Another theme in the book, friendship. Moose has to start at a new school, and try to make new friends. He is trying to maintain a long distance friendship. He also has to try and be accepted by the other children on the island.
A third theme in the book is being different. Natalie is different from other children her age. Her mother realized this a long time ago and decided that it was best to tell everyone that she is 10 years old.