Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Al Capone Shines My Shoes

Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Shines My Shoes.
Sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts. Moose is on Alcatraz island in August of 1935 because his father is a guard at the prison. His sister, Natalie, has gotten into the prestigious Esther P. Marinoff school on the mainland, and Moose thinks that Al Capone was instrumental in getting her. So what does Capone want from him? Through the prison laundry deliveries, Moose gets several notes that confirm this, and at one point must deliver roses to Al Capone's wife! He and his friends from the island are enthralled by the criminals, but also a bit scared of them. Moose has a crush on Piper, enjoys playing baseball with his friend Scout as well as Annie, helps out with some of the younger children, and gets involved in some intrigue involving a prison break attempt that manages to include a new born baby!

Strengths: This seems to have a lot more action than the last book, and episodes like Theresa's baby brother swallowing a penny and having to be rushed to the prison hospital will be interesting to the students. The big selling point is the inclusion of real famous criminals.
Weaknesses: This book came out in 2009, and has only been off the library shelf once. It's going to take some selling to get students to read it. I'm not sure if it is the history or the character with autism that is turning students away. The first book is more popular with the teachers.

1. 4 miles 2. 5 books 3. 4 quilt tops


  1. My sixth grader (seventh grader after noon tomorrow) liked this, but can't get his little brother to read it. I don't think the cover does it any favors.

  2. I know what you mean. My kids just don't seem to like most historical fiction, and this one is rarely checked out, even though it's on our summer reading list. (BTW, I'm so impressed with your quilting goals and enjoyed your quilting web blog.)

  3. I think it is the cover. Once I have talked kids into reading Al Capone, they devour both books. I love that the story appeals equally to boys and girls - once they give it a chance.