Thursday, August 22, 2013

Al Capone Does My Homework

Al Capone Does My HomeworkCholdenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Homework
20 August 2013, Dial
ARC from Baker and Taylor

When Moose's father is made assistant warden, it seems like a good thing until Moose discovers the multiple downsides: inmates have a "point system" where injuring a warden gives a lot of points; his sister Natalie is held up to even more scrutiny, and Officer Trixle thinks that HE should have been warden, so is waiting for any opportunity to discredit Moose's father. When the family's apartment has a fire while Moose is watching Natalie, Moose is wracked by guilt and determined to figure out what caused the fire, since he knows that Natalie couldn't have. This doesn't stop busy bodies from calling Natalie's school and getting her kicked out. Soon, Moose has all of his friends helping him investigate, and they also discover a counterfeiting business and a way to get Natalie to look people in the eye, as well as the rather alarming cause of the fire.
Strengths: Lots of research is in evidence-- can't say that many books cover Alcatraz Island during this time period. Good character development, fun ensemble cast, and of course, Al Capone, who still fascinates students.
Weaknesses: They changed all the covers, which always annoys me. This is the last book in the series; couldn't they have stuck with the same format? The first two books in this series are a bit hard to sell, although the teachers seem to like them.


  1. Anonymous5:10 PM EDT

    Looking forward to this one. Can never understand why this series is a hard sell, although I'd agree it is.

    Just read Clockwork Scarab and agree it might be a hard sell to kids as well, but I personally loved it!

  2. Really? A year or two ago I mentioned there was a new Al Capone title coming out and the entire 5th grade of the school I was visiting starting cheering spontaneously. I've never read them myself, but the kids here are very into them.

  3. It might have to do with a local teacher that really loves them. None of the teachers at my school are wild about them, so the children aren't motivated to read them.