Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Al Capone Throws Me a Curve (Tales from Alcatraz, #4)” as Want to Read:
Al Capone Throws Me a Curve (Tales from Alcatraz, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Al Capone Throws Me a Curve

(Tales from Alcatraz #4)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  748 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Return to Al Capone's Alcatraz with Newbery Honor-winning author Gennifer Choldenko in this charming addition to the beloved series about the son of a prison guard.

Moose Flanagan lives on a famous island in California: Alcatraz, home to some of the most dangerous prisoners in the United States in the 1930s. It's the summer before he starts high school, and Moose is going t
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Yearling Books (first published May 8th 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Al Capone Throws Me a Curve, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Gennifer Choldenko Hi Regan,

Yes I think it works really well with the other three books. But I would love to know what you think. Al Capone Throws Me a Curve will be av…more
Hi Regan,

Yes I think it works really well with the other three books. But I would love to know what you think. Al Capone Throws Me a Curve will be available in May. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  748 ratings  ·  136 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Al Capone Throws Me a Curve (Tales from Alcatraz, #4)
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What?! I thought the 3rd one was the last! It's exciting to be wrong sometimes...:)

5/17/2018: Once again we have another great story about Moose Flanagan and his life on Alcatraz. It has been some time since I read the last one, Al Capone Does My Homework, so some details were hazy at first but when consequences from previous actions started appearing in the plot, my memory was joggled and I remembered the main points. Similar to its predecessors, this one is about sticking with family, growing
Amanda Rawson Hill
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A perfect, perfect ending. My kids are so sad this is the last book. We love this series so much.
It was the title. I saw that title and just had to check this one out. The rest of the blurb had me even more eager to snatch up this middle grade historical fiction. A teen growing up in the mid-thirties... wait for it... on Alcatraz. Yeah, had to give this one a go.

Al Capone Throws Me a Curve is book four in the Al Capone at Alcatraz series. I had no trouble jumping in with this book though I wish I had discovered the series at the get go so I could get them in order. Definitely going back to
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best Middle-Grade series ever written. Gennifer Choldenko gets my highest praise for creating a series that will stand the test of time and appeals to all ages. Wrapping up the series with a book that darn near brought me to tears. I’ll miss Moose and the gang as they are growing up and moving in different directions.
Penny Peck
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-ya
In the fourth book in this engaging series, Moose will be entering high school soon and wants to be on the varsity baseball team, but dealing with his autistic older sister is very challenging. In the intense last quarter of the novel, Natalie is tricked into entering the prison and Moose must try to save her; this part of the book is very cinematic! In fact, the action, characters, and historical setting all blend well and would make a great film. Often, entries in a series get less interesting ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such an outstanding series, and the audio version is so well done!
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, 2018
Before beginning high school, Moose struggles to join the baseball team and care for a sister with autism, all while living on Alcatraz Island.

Moose is the son of the assistant warden on Alcatraz. He encounters many obstacles in his quest join a baseball team during the summer before his freshman year. Moose must look after Piper, the warden's troublesome daughter. He must convince an unreasonable baseball captain who wants Alcatraz souvenirs to let him play. And above all, Moose must care for N
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so sad . . . The last book in this series! What will I do without a little more Moose!?!? Please write another one!!!!
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, historical, youth
4.5. Moose is still on Alcatraz Island, finishing up 8th grade and getting ready for high school and their baseball team. But the convicts are striking, his dad is up for Warden, he's been tasked with taking care of both Piper and Natalie, and there is someone on the island who is willing to use Natalie to hurt their father, even if Nat gets hurt, too.

Completely as enjoyable and interesting as the first three. I enjoyed seeing Moose and Nat and friends slightly older--Nat is turning 17 now, des
Another winner! I have really enjoyed this series and this 4th book was as good as the others. Moose is 13 (and a half) in this book and he is really growing up. His family is suffering growing pains as his mom is freaking out about Natalie becoming a young woman and getting a crush. His dad is up for a promotion and the whole island is acting crazy because the prison oversight is coming to inspect the place. Plots from the Trixles and well-meaning activities from Natalie are threatening the wel ...more
Christy Rawson
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful series! It wraps up very nicely! Full of hope for the characters you come to learn and care about.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was by far the most tense and action packed book in the series. After reading, I feel doubtful that another book will come out, but with all my heart I hope for another one. This is a series that combines both funny and serious elements all in one to create a seemingly flawless mix of the two. I enjoy baseball, but that is not the reason this book was my favorite, it seemed to contain more elements and conflict which made it less predictable than most books which was a twist out of the norm ...more
Ms. Yingling
Public Library E Book

There are a lot of things going on for Moose now that summer is approaching. He desperately wants to be on the high school baseball team, even though freshman rarely are. Also, Natalie has her 17th birthday, and her growing pains are evident. Her mother still dresses her like a ten year old, and wants to get her hair cut in a much younger style, but Bea Trixle has other ideas and not only cuts her hair in a stylish fashion for a young lady, but gives her two dresses that mak
Mary Sanchez
When I saw the Advance Reader's Copy of the fourth book in the Al Capone series I immediately got in line for the give-away. I enjoyed all the books, but I think this one tugged at my heartstrings the most.

Moose desperately wants to get on the high school baseball team as a freshman and has the chance if he will produce something that has a connection to Al Capone and Alcatraz. In the meantime, Moose is given the responsibility of watching over the warden's trouble making daughter, Piper, and M
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another home run for the Al Capone series! I love these stories and Moose and his friends/family are outstanding characters too! Gennifer Choldenko you are a fabulous writer!
First sentence: Even when you live on a prison island with crafty criminals plotting ways to knock you off, summer is the best time of the year.

Premise/plot: Al Capone Throws Me a Curve is the fourth book in Gennifer Choldenko's series. The first three are Al Capone Does My Shirts, Al Capone Shines My Shoes and Al Capone Does My Homework.

Moose Flanagan has worries--worries big and small. He's worried about having to "babysit" the warden's daughter, Piper. She's back for the summer, and, if you'v
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, ya, alcatraz
The faithful will be happy to see a new installment in this series, with its unique setting and appealing main man, Moose. My son, who was a devotee of this series in his younger teen years, was now uninterested in reading book 4, however, so it does pay for authors not to wait too long between books. Moose struggles with the idea of his sister Natalie as a maturing young woman, and feels that his mother has given up dealing with the issue. His father is in line for the job of warden, and is pre ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5. Moose is wrapping up eighth grade, and desperately wants to join the high school baseball team as a freshman, which is unheard of. Back on Alcatraz, his dad is up for promotion to warden, the prisoners are striking, and in addition to taking care of his sister Natalie (now 17, despite the fact that their mother insists that she never aged past ten), he's been tasked with keeping the warden's sneaky daughter, Piper, out of trouble while she's home from boarding school on summer vacation. Mea ...more
Nancy Kotkin
The fourth and final book in the Al Capone middle grade series, and boy will I miss spending time with Moose, Natalie, and the Alcatraz gang. In this novel, the author does a fantastic job of portraying how teens, whether autistic or not, grow up, become interested in, and confused by, the opposite sex, and cope with a lot of situations that the grown-ups in their lives don't realize they face, and probably would think are too adult for them to handle. I'm thrilled about Natalie's realistically ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love good historical middle grade series and Choldenko's Al Capone series is excellent. This newest installment is no exception. It's interesting, it's entertaining, it's funny, and it's heartfelt. Moose is an understated but irresistible hero—it's impossible not to root for his success. With a rich setting, a colorful cast, and several intriguing conflicts at its center, this book will appeal to both kids and adults. I highly recommend the whole series to historical fiction lovers of all ages ...more
Leonard Kim
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don’t know whether it is correct to compare this series to the Joey Pigza series. I’d never connected them before but it came strongly to mind as I read this one. I think the differing treatment of different characters’ arcs across the books are comparable: some characters hardly changing and thus having difficulty adjusting to the ones who do, some changing subtly while retaining their essential character, and then there’s Natalie whose arc is the emotional center of the series, even though i ...more
This is the fourth in this series about Moose and his sister, Natalie. Moose is a teen now and having a sister on the autism spectrum, trying to get on the high school baseball team as a freshman, and playing bodyguard to the warden's duplicitous daughter are all making his life very complicated. But the complications turn to danger when Natalie needs to be rescued and there's nobody to do it but Moose. Well-read by Kirby Heybourne and a great story.
I've enjoyed every installment of this series. There is a lot going on but all the threads matter to the characters and the story but never feel overly inserted.

I grew up as the older sister to a delightful and, at times, consuming developmentally disabled sister; Moose's frustration and protectiveness for Natalie feels completely genuine.
Loved this sequel! Book 4 of the series. It’s been years since I’ve read one of these books. I felt like I just read a book recently and wasn’t that lost to remember the characters and previous stories. A great addition to any library. I liked reading about some facts regarding Alcatraz Island and Al Capone at the end of the book.
Debbie Tanner
This is another chapter in the Al Capone at Alcatraz series. I read the first one but not the other two, until this one, so I felt a little lost at the beginning, but caught up quickly. This story has nice character development-the characters feel like people you might know and the problems that they're having feel realistic. I thought it was a good story.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best middle-grade series out there. Choldenko writes like a dream.
Robert Kent
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First Paragraph(s): Even when you live on a prison island with crafty criminals plotting ways to knock you off, summer is the best time of the year.

No tests. No homework. No getting up early to catch the ferry. No teachers who think you flunked a few grades because you happen to be kind of big for thirteen and a half.

Summer is freedom. Not for the prisoners, of course. But for us kids who live on Alcatraz Island.

I loved this book and you will too.

I know I'm always picking a new favorite opening
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this series and I hope this isn't the end!
Jinny Lim
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was just amazing. I like how it finished up the story with understanding for each other throughout all the characters.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book #24 Read in 2018
Al Capone Throws Me a Curve by Gennifer Choldenko

I was excited when offered a review copy of this fourth book in a great middle grade series; I did not even realize a new one was coming out. The author said that this is the book she was meant to write for this series. Will there be more? I am not sure but if not, this book did justice to wrap this series up. In this book, Moose is trying to get on the high school baseball team. Natalie is still a handful. Piper is still his
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Harlem Charade
  • Efrén Divided
  • Millionaires for the Month
  • The Dragonfly Effect (The Hypnotists, #3)
  • Notorious
  • Like Vanessa
  • How to Be a Supervillain: Born to Be Good
  • Waste of Space (Moon Base Alpha, #3)
  • Code Word Courage (Dogs of World War II)
  • Raid of No Return
  • How I Became a Spy: A Mystery of WWII London
  • Middle School: Master of Disaster
  • Level 13 (Slacker, #2)
  • Belly Up (FunJungle, #1)
  • Tyrannosaurus Wrecks (FunJungle)
  • Lafayette!
  • Becoming Brianna
  • Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus
See similar books…
There’s a Lego in my bum which fits with the Lego in my chair and when I sit down to write, I hear the satisfying snap of the two pieces fitting together. I love words, dictionaries, thesauruses, sharp pencils, the smell of book ink and the delicious art of carving out sentences on clean white paper. I love to slip into another person’s skin and feel what it’s like to live another life. I love whe ...more

Other books in the series

Tales from Alcatraz (4 books)
  • Al Capone Does My Shirts (Tales from Alcatraz, #1)
  • Al Capone Shines My Shoes (tales from Alcatraz, #2)
  • Al Capone Does My Homework (Tales from Alcatraz, #3)

News & Interviews

You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't...
23 likes · 8 comments
“that crazy Hitler guy in Germany who doesn’t want Jewish people to compete in the Olympics.” 0 likes
More quotes…