Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
This story is about a boy named Moose Flanagan and his family, and how they move to Alcatraz, a tiny island off the coast of San Francisco, which houses some of the country's most dangerous criminals. Moose is not happy about being away from where he is used to calling home, stuck on a cement rock where most of the population is behind bars. He is also very unhappy that he has to keep an eye on his autistic sister, Natalie. Natalie was accepted into the Esther P. Marinoff School, which was supposed to help her, but unfortunately, she's sent back home almost immediately because she's just not adjusting to the school. And that means that Moose becomes her main babysitter. Moose tries to make some friends and he does with a girl named Piper, she’s the wardens daughter, and while there together they get themselves in some adventures to keep them busy. However, they break the rules in the process. Most of the ideas they come up end up not working or the kids lose interest in it. He become very scared for his sister because she is making friends with a con and that con also gives him a basketball, but he soon realizes that this is a bad idea and stops wonder around the prison. This hurts Natalie though, because she was getting better being in the outside world and now she wasn’t. They tried to get her into that school again but got rejected. Then Moose takes things into his own hands and writes a letter to the infamous Al Capone who’s inside Alcatraz, to try and use his connections to get his sister in. Within days Natalie was accepted in the Esther P Marinoff School.
I found this book really interesting and I really enjoyed reading it. I really like how the author made an emphasis on autism in this book. I don’t really have a connection with autism except the fact that I might have some autistic children in my class in the future. I think this would be appropriate for 5th and 6th and up.