93 pages 3 hours read

Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade

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Al Capone Does My Shirts

  • Genre: Fiction; middle-grade historical fiction
  • Originally Published: 2004
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 600L; grades 5-6
  • Structure/Length: 3 parts, 40 chapters; approx. 288 pages; approx. 6 hours, 10 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: In the 1930s, Moose Flanagan and his family move to Alcatraz when his father takes a job as an electrician and guard at the prison so his sister Natalie can attend a school in San Francisco for her intellectual needs. When he notices Natalie hanging around Onion, Convict 105, he starts to worry until Onion reassures him that she will be accepted into the school. When she isn’t, Moose enlists the help of inmate Al Capone to get his sister accepted into the school she needs. Between protecting his sister, resisting the irresistible warden’s daughter Piper, and staying out of trouble, Moose realizes that trouble is never far away at Alcatraz.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Underage drinking; sexual innuendo; references to convicts’ crimes; insensitive, derogatory language regarding disability and autism

Gennifer Choldenko, Author

  • Bio: Born in Santa Monica, California; youngest of four kids; earned a BA in English and American Literature from Brandeis University and a BFA in illustration from Rhode Island School of Design; self-proclaimed fitness fanatic, book lover, and coffee lover; has a German Shepherd named Sasha who has a secret life as a Russian princess
  • Other Works: If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period (2007); Al Capone Shines My Shoes (2009); No Passengers Beyond This Point (2011); One-Third Nerd (2019)
  • Awards: Newbery Honor (2007); California Young Reader Medal (2007)