Saturday, May 23, 2009

Al Capone shines my shoes by Gennifer Choldenko

What a lovely sequel to Al Capone does my shirts! I finished it this afternoon and when I knew it was coming to an end- I had only two chapters left- I stopped reading, on purpose to do some necessary household chores-just to make the book last a little longer and to contemplate the complexity of the story. After I finished some laundry and made a quick dinner I picked it back up and finished. Now I want to go back and read the first one again because I read it a few years ago. If you haven't read the first one do so now so you'll be ready for this second one coming in September!

I'm not going to give much away, but here is the story line: Moose lives on Alcatraz Island with his dad (a prison guard), his mom and his sister, Natalie. Natalie is autistic and Capone, while a prisoner, helps get her into a special school in San Fransisco. This story begins with Capone asking for repayment from Moose. Of course a mafia man like Al would want something in return! Moose is nervous about his note-passing relationship with Alcatraz's most famous convict. His character is well-developed as the nice guy, the good and helpful young man, among the other families. At one point, just to appease, he even pretends to like needlepoint! When problems arise, as they do in all stories, Moose comes through for his friends and his family. The wives were more memorable to me than they were in Al Capone does my laundry and I wondered if this was the author's intent.
Ms. Choldenko weaves together a fascinating historical fiction, teaching us about life on the island in 1935, with great characters and a very twisty and exciting plot! It's fascinating how authors' pick their topics and her idea of giving us a personalized tale of Alcatraz is her very special gift to readers.


Tina's Blog said...

I am so jealous! Where did you get a copy of this?

Peaceful Reader said...

From the author...She was so sweet when I met her @ the CF Library!!