Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Fall 2004 Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
ISBN: 0399238611
Hardcover Price: $15.99
In 1935, thirteen-year-old Moose, along with his mother and older sister Natalie, moved to the island of Alcatraz because his father got a job as a prison guard. Moose's mother, totally focused on Natalie's mental illness, denies Natalie's real age of sixteen, saying year after year that she is ten, in hopes of getting her in the Esther P. Marinoff School where she could get real help. In the meantime, Moose, must take care of Natalie. Natalie is not Moose's only problem, however. Piper, the warden's fetching daughter, is a treasurehouse of cockamamie schemes.

From an unlikely premise, the author has written a story that is far-fetched, skirts the edges of implausibility, and proceeds to be both funny and touching. Moose is a grand protagonist.

Kemie Nix   ©2004 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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