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Al Capone Shines My Shoes (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #2)
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Al Capone Shines My Shoes (Al Capone at Alcatraz #2)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  5,978 Ratings  ·  712 Reviews
Moose and the cons are about to get a lot closer in this much-anticipated sequel. It's 1935. Moose Flanagan lives on Alcatraz with his family, the other families of the guards, and a few hundred no-name hit men, con men, mad dog murderers and a handful of bank robbers too. And one of those cons has just done him a big favor.

You see, Moose has never met Al Capone, but a few
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Dial Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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2009 MUST READS: Children's and YA
46th out of 252 books — 784 voters
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9th out of 103 books — 546 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jenn Ginder
Feb 26, 2012 Jenn Ginder rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
There were a lot of things about this sequel that worked better, but I felt like I wanted there to be more to Moose. The author states that Moose is a pleaser, but I felt like I didn't get a good enough window into Moose's internal conflict about this - or as much as I would have liked.
I liked what the author did with Natalie in this book. It was interesting to see how she progressed as she settled into her visit from Ester P. Marinoff and see her become more than a helpless character.
The author
Renee Wallace
Sep 14, 2009 Renee Wallace rated it it was amazing
It is so rare to find a sequel to a winner that is, itself, another winner, but here it is.

Frankly, I expected to be disappointed, as sequels seem to be... well, blech. Not this one!

I am not sure how the author manages so well to make a protagonist of the gender opposite hers, sound so real, so believable; but she does. (I wonder if she has taught middle school, or been a den mother, or something like that.)

The setting of Alcatraz in the thirties is just as fascinating as it was on her first
Oct 27, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
This is such a wonderful Middle-grade series. This book was not as sentimental as the first but an original storyline. Not a recap of the first book. Love these kids!
Crystal Navarro
Sep 10, 2012 Crystal Navarro rated it really liked it
Just the read I needed to get over the last nerve wrecking one I had.

I read the first book in this series when I was in college as part of a group assignment to teach us about grouping for literary groups based on interest and the use of visual representation as a tool to help students express what they pulled from the story. Al Capone Does My Shirts was a lot more interesting than I had expected-- it had been so long since I had read children's or teens literature-- and my group went all out an
Suzanne Moore
This book is a sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts. The main character, Moose, is a boy at the age where he begins to recognize girls. What makes his situation unique is that he lives on Alcatraz Island. The year is 1935 and Moose's father is a guard at the notorious prison. I learned that the island was home not only to the prisoners in lock-up, but also to civilians who lived in compounds and ran the prison facilities. The children of the prison warden and the guards are close friends and alway ...more
Andrea Mullarkey
Jul 23, 2012 Andrea Mullarkey rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
What’s not to like about easy, breezy historical fiction for young teens? Moose Flanagan is the son of a guard on Alcatraz and lives on the island with his family and the families of the other guards. The kids of these guards form a small group of friends like the little groups that form in school classrooms with favorites and least favorites, dramas and intrigues. The only difference is they do all of it within view of some of the roughest prisoners in the United States. When Moose asks the ...more
Richard Ward
Aug 28, 2015 Richard Ward rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Kids and adults.
Excellent sequel to the equally good Al Capone Does My Shirts. It's 1935 and Al Capone is doing time at Alcatraz. Believe it or not (and according to the Author's Notes at the end of the book it's true) the children of corrections officers and other staff lived right on the island. So it's those kids who give us the cast for this series of books. The main protagonist is a boy called Moose who has a severely autistic sister named Natalie. Everyone likes Moose. Sometimes he tries too hard to pleas ...more
Feb 28, 2009 Edie rated it it was amazing
I was a big fan of the first book so approached this "sequel" a bit hesitantly, but I found myself completely pulled in and enjoying it as much as the first. Budding romance figures in this a bit, and jealousy and Moose, our hero, finds out that it's hard being all things to all people, some people dislike him for trying too hard to be nice. His sister is doing better at her special school but the issue of her illness spawns some clear prejudice which is handled very honestly and adds to the ...more
Apr 03, 2016 Piyali rated it really liked it
So exciting!!
Feb 07, 2010 Josiah rated it it was ok
I like the remark that Gennifer Choldenko makes in the Acknowledgements at the end of this book, when thanking her editor: "Editing me is sort of like trying to put a seat belt on the Energizer Bunny and Kathy always manages to make it look effortless." That line embodies well the smart humor found often in Al Capone Shines My Shoes, and I can see how a writer with such a sharp mind might be a handful for an editor.

As with its predecessor, this book is one of the most unique volumes that the ge
Eva Mitnick
Sep 21, 2009 Eva Mitnick rated it really liked it

12-year-old Moose Flanagan lives, as those who have read Al Capone Does My Shirts will know, on Alcatraz Island, where his dad works. Al Capone seems to have done him a huge favor by somehow getting his autistic big sister Natalie into a special school, and now it’s payback time – Moose finds a note in his freshly laundered shirt that says “Your turn.”

After agonizing about what kind of favor Capone might be expecting from Moose and how it would mean certain dismissal from his Alcatraz job for M
Clement Leveau
Jun 14, 2013 Clement Leveau rated it liked it
Clement Leveau

Al Capone shines my shoes

This book is more sitirical Then it is Interesting. The concept of finding a note to Al Capone can be considered interesting that was only a small part of it. However it some of the scenes in the book will cut funny he only problem was that it took itself to seriously. The book should of had a little bit more comedy. The book is about aboy named Moose. Moose has an autistic sister who the last book got into a special school. Mosse thinks that the reason she
Why I picked it up: I recently re-read Al Capone Does My Shirts, and this sequel was not out at the time I had originally read it.

This books picks up about 2 months after Al Capone Does My Shirts ends. Natalie is about to start at The Esther P. Marinoff School. Moose’s school is out for the summer. Moose gets a slip of paper in his shirt pocket—it’s from Al Capone, and he wants a favor in exchange for helping Moose at the end of the first book.

I enjoyed it. I really like Moose and I was glad to
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
I am completely delighted by this book. I really enjoyed the first one and this one holds up, well and strong, and I think it works even better. Maybe because I thought, "What can she come up with that can top the first book?" before starting to read this one.. and Choldenko absolutely pulled it off. There is humor and tension all throughout the book, not to mention some hard-to-sort-out moral dilemmas. Over the years, my students have loved the first book -- from really strong readers to really ...more
Mar 26, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it
Moose Flanagan, age 12, lives on Alcatraz with his parents and sister. It’s 1935 and his father is a guard at the island’s prison, which houses Capone and other notorious bad guys. Moose’s sister, Natalie, is autistic, but that diagnosis was not yet created. With Nat’s urgent need for special schooling, Moose seeks a favor from a supremely dangerous man. The story here transpires in the aftermath of that request’s success. The characters are very predominantly those civilians who live on the ...more
Oct 02, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing
Pure excellence in this children's novel, a sequel to one of my all-time favorite books (Al Capone Does My Shirts). Convict 85 (Al Capone) makes contact with 12-year-old Moose Flannagan again, setting off a chain of events that test Moose's allegiance to his family. It's quite possible that Capone helped Moose's autistic sister, Natalie, get into the Esther P. Marinoff School. But just how much does Moose owe Scarface for the favor? With cons like Willie One Arm and Seven Fingers in the picture, ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Carole rated it really liked it
I was worried that this sequel wouldn't live up to the wonderful "Al Capone Does My Shirts" because the premise sounded contrived. And with Natalie gone to the Esther P. Marinoff School, one of the main tensions would be gone. I was glad to be proven wrong! Choldenko again is pitch-perfect in her portrayal of family relationships-- the traditional kind as well as the family that is built from a community as tightly knit as the one on Alcatraz. She gives each one of the kids a distinct voice, ...more
Beth Cato
Feb 12, 2014 Beth Cato rated it really liked it

This is a fun middle-grade book. It's been a few years since I read the first in the series but I was able to keep track of the distinct cast of kids without too much issue. It's brilliant to write a series about kids growing up on Alcatraz, a place where Al Capone is behind bars but not without power, and the guards themselves can be the worst of the bad guys.

One of the reasons I started these books is because they feature an autistic character, Natalie, who is Moose's older sister. I really li
Scott Thomas
Oct 29, 2014 Scott Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Al Capone shines my shoes by Gennifer Choldenko was quite entertaining . It mixes some history and fiction. It takes place on Alcatraz in the 1930’s. We revisit Moose Flanagan, Whose family moved to Alcatraz a while back because Moose’s sister Natalie needs to go to a school for autistic .While Alcatraz presents its dangers as a prison. He feels safe. He is just adjusting to this when his sister comes home on school break. Moose doesn’t know that over break, his life will change a lot. He has to
Nov 13, 2015 Tina rated it it was amazing
These books just get better as you go along. Who would not want to spend time with Moose and Natalie on the island of Alcatraz in 1935? These characters created by Gennifer Choldenko are warm, funny and moving. Based on true stories and the author's incredible imagination, this book is a worthy and thrilling sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts.

Yeah, yeah, I know. This series is for middle-grade youngsters, but aren't we all young at heart? If not, we should be. Start with the first book in the s
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
May 06, 2010 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it it was amazing
The story of Moose Flanagan and his sister Natalie continues in the second book of the Al Capone series by Gennifer Choldenko. After a wonderful start in AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS, Choldenko out does herself with the sequel. All of the old gang is back and a few new characters are introduced including the notorious Al Capone, himself. Discover what happens when Capone asks Moose for a favor. Choldenko has an amazing way with words and makes a story come alive. You want to be one of Moose's ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
Cute. Moose is only interested in baseball, keeping his sister Natalie from having a fit, and his crush on Piper, the Warden's daughter. Living on Alcatraz has it's pluses, definitely. Owing Al Capone a favor isn't one of them.

Because Moose is one of those polite, trying to please people kids, he ends up in more trouble than he should, but in the end it seems that Scarface kinda likes him. Or maybe he likes Natalie.

Nice sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts.
Aug 07, 2015 Alanna rated it really liked it
A good follow-up to the first book. This one upped the ante a bit with Moose's interactions with Al Capone and with his relationship with Piper. That girl continues to give me the creeps-- her ability to force people into her schemes and then throw them under the bus the second they go wrong is just awful. I'm glad I've never really had anyone like her in my life! I continue to love Moose, though!
Christina Pilkington
Dec 07, 2015 Christina Pilkington rated it really liked it
*4.5 stars

Another solid book in this series. My kids LOVE when I read this book. We recently toured Alcatraz so it made this story so much more real for them. We could see the apartments where the fictional characters lived, the warden's house, the cellblock and the parade grounds. The story was just as fun and touching as the first book. I think I might have liked in even a little more.

Great middle grade series.
Alejandro Fernandez
Jun 10, 2016 Alejandro Fernandez rated it liked it
Al Capone Shines My Shoes was kind of funny and scary because Their was this girl named Trixie she had seven fingers and that was creepy. My opinion on this book is that it should be all around the world because this book is history about Alcatraz.I would recommend this book to my friend Jose because he likes books that are scary and have drama.
Oct 01, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! I am not sure which I loved more, this or the first, Al Capone Does My Shirts? But I can tell you I LOVED this one! I really hope it is not so long between this book and the next book. I don't know how long I can be without Moose, Natalie, Piper, Jimmy, Annie, Janet, et al...
Jan 16, 2014 D.C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very worthy sequel to an awesome piece of historical fiction. Lots of action, great writing, and some comedic dialogue, just like the first one. Highly recommended as a stand-alone, or as a great sequel.
May 26, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it
got lucky and got an ARC from Ms. Choldenko!! The cover looks different, better (because why would Al shine sneakers)and this book is just as good as first book, Al Capone does my laundry!! Great historical fiction about Alcatraz Island mixed with wonderful kid-mischief.
Audrey Walter
Dec 07, 2015 Audrey Walter rated it it was amazing
So far this is a great series. The endings are amazing and I can't wait to get the third one tomorrow!
Mandy Casto
Jun 02, 2013 Mandy Casto rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Have you ever read a book that you didn't want to finish because it was so good? This book was like that for me. I didn't think I'd like it as much as the first one, but I liked it much more!
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #68 Al Capone Shines My Shoes 1 1 Dec 22, 2015 08:15PM  
¡ POETRY !: MY SHOES 1 3 Apr 23, 2015 12:52PM  
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How did a girl named Snot-Nose end up publishing children’s books?

Here are the facts as I know them . . .

I am the youngest of four kids, all of whom have big mouths. We were so loud, that once a lady asked my brother if our mother was deaf.

She was not.

The only sibling who did not have the trademark Johnson big mouth was my sister, Gina, who had Autism. My parents worked very hard to try to fig
More about Gennifer Choldenko...

Other Books in the Series

Al Capone at Alcatraz (4 books)
  • Al Capone Does My Shirts (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #1)
  • Al Capone Does My Homework (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #3)
  • Al Capone Does My Dishes (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #4)

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