Al Capone Does My Shirts, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


When Moose Flanagan and his family move home, yet again, and become residents of the famous prison island Alcatraz, things get interesting.

First of all, they share the island with a few other families and a lot of pretty heavy-duty criminals including Al Capone. And secondly, Moose's sister is starting a new school, which everyone hopes will help her become more integrated with those around her.

When Moose comes up with some pretty cunning money-making schemes based on his famous co-residents, he does not count on his sister becoming inadvertently involved.

This is a charming, funny and utterly enchanting book that skillfully and delicately weaves a humorous tale with some important issues.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240 pages, Illustrations
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General
  • ISBN: 9780747568988

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Moose Flanagan has moved into Alcatraz with his family. His dad is an electrican and prison guard. The biggest issue is his sister Natalie, who is autistic. However this is 1935, Autism isn't a diagnosed illness and her problems are taking a very hard toll on the family. Particularly his mother. He has to learn how to cope with a new school and with the manipulative daughter of the Prison Warden, Piper. Interesting and very readable.

Review by

I wasn't sure what to expect when I read this, other than it would be good, because it's a Newbery. Choldenko keeps her story as close to historically accurate as possible, and yet, still creates a story that pulls you in, head and heart. It was fascinating to read about the life on Alcatraz for the families of the guards. It was heartbreaking to read about Natalie, and life for someone with her challenges. Things in those days were so different for people with autism (a word they didn't even have back then). I highly recommend, both for personal reading and for use in a classroom or as a discussion with kids.