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Al Capone Shines My Shoes (tales from Alcatraz, #2)
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Al Capone Shines My Shoes

(Tales from Alcatraz #2)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  7,680 ratings  ·  854 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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Grace You should read the first one, second and then third

You should read the first one, second and then third


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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,680 ratings  ·  854 reviews

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Jenn Ginder
Jul 09, 2011 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
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
A juvenile book , but one that would be excellent for a middle school student questioning autism .
The story is simple but will hold the interest of a 12-15 year old , and teaches patience and tolerance
Renee Wallace
Sep 14, 2009 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 21, 2015 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!
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg, ya, historical-fiction
In the second book, it was fun times returning to an adventure on Alcatraz with Moose and the other kids. I've enjoyed these young teen adventures from back in the 1930's set on Alcatraz where the families of the guards and Warden live.

Al Capone Shines My Shoes picks up right after the events of the previous book. Moose is happy his sister is able to attend her special school, but he knows its never a good idea to owe Al Capone a favor. It isn't long before Moose gets word from the man and has t
Book Concierge
Digital audiobook narrated Kirby Heyborne.

Book two in this entertaining middle-school series, set on Alcatraz Island during the Great Depression. Moose Flanagan’s dad is a guard at the maximum security prison, and the family lives in the apartments provided for workers and their families. His sister, Natalie, has a condition that is apparently autism (though that diagnosis wasn’t used in this time frame, so it is never identified as such), and attends a special boarding school. But she comes hom
Moose Flanagan has a problem. How does one repay a favor done by none other than Al Capone? Moose had written a letter to the Alcatraz convict asking him to intercede on behalf of Moose's autistic sister Natalie to secure her a place at an innovative school that could help Natalie's future. Moose and his family live on Alcatraz island where his father is a guard/electrician. When Natalie suddenly is accepted at the school Moose is certain his letter did the trick. Then he gets a note in his laun ...more
This wasn't as enjoyable for me as the first one, although I suspect many children would like this and that I'd have enjoyed it quite a bit when I was growing up.

Moose is up to his neck in trouble trying to make everyone happy--something he hasn't yet realized is an impossible task. What's more, Al Capone wants a favour of him in return for ensuing that Moose's sister got accepted into a special school. He wants Moose to give yellow roses to his wife who is coming to visit. Moose is so nervous,
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
There was a super bratty kid in the story who deserved the Me, Myself and Irene water fountain treatment when Hank holds the kid's head underwater. That aside I really enjoyed this and would continue with the series. It might help to read the series in order but this can definitely be read as a stand alone without feeling like any background info is missing. ...more
Abigail Smith
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is pretty fun, especially because some of the things that happen on Alcatraz are based on fact!

A lot of the book does revolve around Moose trying to make everyone happy, and while he does learn some important lessons from it, it can get frustrating at times.

The convicts are perfectly creepy at times while completely ordinary at others, and it really makes you rethink the seemingly normal guy at the grocery store. :)

Great read, just so long as you don't let the middle school shenanigan
Crystal Navarro
Mar 20, 2012 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
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First sentence: Nothing is the way it's supposed to be when you live on an island with a billion birds, a ton of bird crap, a few dozen rifles, machine guns, and automatics, and 278 of America's worst criminals--"the cream of the criminal crop" as one of our felons likes to say. The convicts on Alcatraz are rotten to the core, crazy in the head, and as slippery as eels in axle grease.

Premise/plot: Al Capone Shines My Shoes is the sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts. Both books are set on the isla
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 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 mos ...more
Feb 28, 2009 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 str ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
My Gradev= 75% - C

Published 2002. 270 pages.

Earlier this month, August 2019, one of my regular thrift shops had a free book day, and Al Capone Does My Shirts and this book were among the ones I took.

The first one was "ok," and the only view of any convict was a small square of paper with the word "done" written in pencil in the pocket of a shirt supposedly laundered by Al Capone.

It almost seems to me that the author had such a success with her 2004 book that, after having waited five years, she
What a great sequel. I enjoyed going back to the island and engaging with these characters again. I thought the advancement of the plot was great and it was so cool when we actually got to meet Al Capone. For a middle grade book, this has some hard topics such as forgiveness, death of parents, Autism and friendships. I thought it handled those topics appropriately and well, especially within the context of the story. I'm also a fan of these characters and how they interact with one another. They ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Historical fiction/semi-thriller/mystery set in 1935 on Alcatraz. Initially as I was reading this, I was thinking "oh sure! They had inmates doing plumbing and other odd jobs in the guards' houses. Right." Turns out, according to the author's notes at the end, that this was a well researched book, and yes, the inmates did indeed do plumbing and other maintenance jobs on the island. Kids who grew up on Alcatraz remember that they weren't allowed to throw anything sharp in the garbage, as it was h ...more
Miss Ryoko
Ugh... so much time passed between when I started this book and when I finished it (6 months.... life) that I feel I can't give it a proper rating or review because I can't even really remember what most of the book was about. I do know that I liked it and I am enjoying this series.

I did, however, have a huge problem with the way the author talked about autism in the author notes. She wrote about the treatment for autism these days was better than when her and her sister (who had autism) were li
C.J. Milbrandt
In this second book set among the families of the guards who live and work on Alcatraz, Moose needs to "get square" with Al Capone. Flies and hives. Mice and mashed potatoes. Buttons and baseball. Escape artists and confidence men. A slice-of-life, small-town kind of story about a tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone else's business.

Historical, set in the 1930s. Loved seeing Natalie again (Moose's sister, who would have been properly diagnosed if autism had been understood back th
Clara Biesel
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Again, these books tell really fun story while taking on big questions about prison and children with special needs set in 1930s America. I especially liked the ramifications from the first story in this one.
Nancy Kotkin
The sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts, and just as wonderful. I really enjoyed spending more time with Moose, Natalie, and the kids on Alcatraz Island. Tightly plotted but with exemplary characterization as well.
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a thriller! Your in the eyes as moose a young boy who lives in Alcatraz. At the time he was there Al Capone was there too. Moose has to go through a series of problems. If you like realistic fiction than I suggest you read this book.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very funny and exciting, I recommend it to all.
Nolan Young
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After reading the first book of the series, I couldn’t wait to read the second. And I was not disappointed. This book was a top 10 book I’ve ever read
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I didn't love this one nearly as much as the first in the series. It's quirky and cute in many places but overall stretches credulity in a few too many far-reaching ways. Still fun and enjoyable but not a 5-star favorite. ...more
Chris Sawdey
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Was originally dismayed to find this was the second book of a series but it turns out that it can be read as a stand alone anyway.

So this book is about a boy growing up in the infamous island prison of Alcatraz and how his proximity to the gangster Al Capone shapes his interactions with his family and friends. Despite the prominence of Capone's name in the title, he remains a rather shadowy, nebulous presence. . . a sorta boogieman that gives a unique flavor to a story that is basically about a
Feb 05, 2010 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 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
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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 Does My Homework (Tales from Alcatraz, #3)
  • Al Capone Throws Me a Curve (Tales from Alcatraz, #4)

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