Al Capone Does My Homework

by Gennifer Choldenko Book 3 of the Al Capone Series

Now thirteen, Moose Flanagan is still living on Alcatraz Island, where Al Capone... read more

Now thirteen, Moose Flanagan is still living on Alcatraz Island, where Al Capone is a prisoner and Moose's father has just become assistant warden. The promotion worries Moose, who knows prisoners are always more interested in targeting a warden for harm than a mere guard. Moose's concerns intensify after a fire in their apartment on a night he is home alone with his older sister, Natalie. Was their apartment targeted because of their dad's job? Just as awful, some neighbors are convinced Natalie is responsible for the fire. As far as Moose knows, both of them were asleep when it started. But Natalie's behavior (today she would probably be identified as autistic) has always made it hard for some people to accept her in the small, insular community of prison workers and their families. The warden appoints a task force to investigate the fire, but Moose and other kids, including the warden's daughter Piper, and Moose's friends Annie and Jimmie, launch their own investigation and unintentionally stumble onto a dangerous con game. Gennifer Choldenko's third and final Alcatraz novel, set in 1936, continues to explore themes of family and friendship, growth and change. The unique setting is vividly realized, while her singular characters and their relationships are dynamic in a story filled with tension, humor, and poignancy. Particularly moving is Moose's conflicting sense of responsibility for and resentment toward Natalie; and their parents' competing desires to shelter Natalie and help her as she strives to be more independent. (Ages 10-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

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