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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)

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  4,287 ratings  ·  606 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...more
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Dial (first published January 1st 2009)
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Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsCity of Glass by Cassandra ClareFire by Kristin CashoreWintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
2009 MUST READS: Children's and YA
46th out of 261 books — 770 voters
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Newbery 2010
7th out of 107 books — 517 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jenn Ginder
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...more
Renee Bush
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...more
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
Crystal
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...more
Andrea Mullarkey
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 mos...more
Edie
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 str...more
Beth Cato

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...more
Josiah
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...more
Emily
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...more
Clement Leveau
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...more
Eva Mitnick

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...more
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
Carole
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, wit...more
Linda
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
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
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 friend...more
Book_obsessed569
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
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.
Marie
In Al Capone Does My Shirts, Moose writes a letter to Al Capone asking for assistance. Even though he's never met Al Capone, Moose believes he can use his influence to get his sister Natalie into a special boarding school in San Francisco. Shortly after, Moose's family receives word that Natalie has been accepted to the Esther P. Marinoff school. And then at the beginning of Al Capone Shines My Shoes, Moose receives a note in his laundry, unsigned, that simply says "Done." What does it mean? And...more
Camie
I read this in preview to see if it would be a good read for my 12 year old. Our library didn't have the first book in the series but I decided to just take a chance on this one. I really liked it. It was clever, funny, had some mystery to it and the characters were well developed. I loved the interaction between the kids and the lessons they learn about being true friends. Our family visited Alcatraz a few years ago and we were fascinated when we found out there were families that lived on the...more
Carlee
Summary: The year is 1935 - Matthew "Moose" Flanagan lives on Alcatraz Island with his family and hangs out with other kids on the island, playing baseball, eavesdropping on adults, and generally staying out of trouble. The notorious mobster, Al Capone, is one of the convicts at Alcatraz and is in charge of washing the Flanagans' laundry - Moose slips a note inside of his shirt pocket to ask Al Capone for help in getting his sister Natalie into the Esther P. Marinoff school, a "boarding school f...more
Melissa
I read Al Capone Does My Shirts by the same author about the same family. I really loved that book. I liked this book as well. The story continues on of the kids who live with their families on Alcatrez in the 1930's and what life is like sharing an island with convicts, including Al Capone. The kids are a little older in this book, of course and because of this, there is more focus on girl/boy crushes. Moose (the main character) has a crush on a girl who is not very nice and Moose supposedly is...more
K.moore
Everybody wants something in return, especially Al Capone. This book is a story about a 12 year old named Moose Flanagan. Moose and his sister live on the famous island, Alcatraz where his father is a prison guard. Moose’s sister Natalie has special needs and she gets kicked out of school. Moose writes a con that works in a laundry room to help him. That con turns out to be Al Capone and he helps Moose get Natalie get into a special needs school in San Francisco. Piper dislikes Moose even thoug...more
Meghan
Check out more of my reviews! http://lovingliteraturemrsking.blogsp...

How does living on Alcatraz with Al Capone and 277 of America’s worst criminals sound to you? That’s where Moose Flanagan lives with his family, along with the other guards and their families. In Gennifer Choldenko’s second novel about Moose, Al Capone Shine My Shoes, our main character is in a real fix. In the first novel, Moose asked for help getting his sister Natalie into a special school. Al has done that, and now it’s Mo...more
Jaime
This is the first children's book I have read in a while that I really liked. I thought it was just ok at first, but then it hooked me. The characters are very well developed, and the storyline is definitely an interesting one.
I was very appreciative of the author's note at the end, because the whole time I was reading the book I was thinking that the whole premise was cool (children living on Alcatraz with their prison guard families), but that it was entirely unbelievable. And the fact that i...more
Phoebe
Book 2 in Choldenko's marvelous trilogy finds Moose, son of a guard, in a conundrum, apparently in debt to Alcatraz's most notorious prisoner, Al Capone. Capone somehow got Moose's sister, Natalie, into a special school in San Francisco, and now he wants a favor from Moose. If any of the adults find out, Moose and his family will have to leave the island. Meanwhile, Moose and his friends try to live a relatively normal life, if this can be possible on a prison island; baseball, first romance, an...more
Megan
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...
Michelle
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.
Dylan
I recommend this book to everyone, it is not to young of a reading level, but its not to much. In this book, moose asks Al Capone to try to get his autistic sister, Natalie into a school. Natalie ends up receiving a letter in the mail saying that she got into the school that she wanted to attend. Then Al Capone ends up sending a note back to Moose saying that he wants something in return... Read the book to find out what it is. When Natalie comes home to visit from school, she has a bar splitter...more
Heather
A very good continuation of where #1 left off. Good points are made about friendship, forgiveness and community, such as when Mrs. Mattaman urges Moose to help his frenemy:
"Piper needs a friend. Oh boy, does she ever. And if you can't forgive her, well, shame on you too. There isn't a friend in the world won't disappoint you one day. You going to hold a grudge, you'll have a mighty lonely life.

Not one word any of us says is going to help that poor child right now. But you go up there and you s
...more
D.C.
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.
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35634
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
More about Gennifer Choldenko...
Al Capone Does My Shirts (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #1) If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period No Passengers Beyond This Point Al Capone Does My Homework (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #3) Notes from a Liar and Her Dog

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