Moose is not happy about leaving his best friend in Santa Monica to move to Alcatraz Island. He knows its not easy for his dad to find a job in the middle of the Great Depression, but it just isn’t fair. His mom has pushed this move on his family because the Esther P Marinoff school is supposed to be the solution for his sister, Natalie.
Natalie isn’t right. She loves numbers, order and buttons, but doesn’t really talk. Moose’s mom has been celebrating Natalie’s 10th birthday for nearly as long as Moose can remember, even though Moose is technically younger than her.
Moose is fiercely protective of Natalie, especially on the island. He’s desperate to play baseball, but even more desperate to get Natalie into the Esther P Marinoff. He’s so desperate, he enlists the help of the island’s most infamous con.
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko is a coming of age story in the midst of difficulties – some familiar (bullies) and some unusual (surrounded by convicts & an autistic sister). And the good news is that Choldenko has written two more books in the series.
My ten-year-old enjoyed these books so much he actually wrote an e-mail to the author with a suggestion for a 4th book in the series. Much to his delight, she graciously replied within a week.
I want to give a shout-out, and a big “Thank you!” to Beth, a reader of my blog, for recommending this series. Thanks Beth!
Highly recommended for ages 9 and up.