Abigail Beckwith's Reviews > Al Capone Shines My Shoes

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko
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's review
Nov 18, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: children, historical-fiction
Read in November, 2010

This is a great example of an interesting atypical work of historical fiction. Moose lives on Alcatraz Island. This provides a unique setting. I really liked the look at the convicts, the 30s slang, the authentic feel the book gave off (everyone is so into baseball!). Very quick, fun (slightly suspenseful) read. Capone did a favor for Moose, and Moose is just waiting to hear what he will have to do in return.. A little suspense, and some action ensue. The novel's themes include: people being more than they seem, family, friendship, and redemption.

Moose is the main character, and he's so likable. In fact, sometimes that's a problem. His friends think he tries too hard, but what can he do? He just wants to be nice!

The book provides a great look at a non-tradiotional family. Moose's older sister is autistic. Sometimes that means for disruptions, but family is important. Moose is protective, occasionally frustrated, but generally seems to have a lot love for his sister. Her entry into a school and slow improvements are an interesting subplot.

Ages 9 and up.

keywords: Alcatraz, crime, Al Capone, autism, great depression, male narrator, quick paced, sequel

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