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Al Capone Does My Shirts facts for kids

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Al Capone Does My Shirts
Al Capone Does My Shirts cover.JPG
Author Gennifer Choldenko
Country America
Language English
Series A's literature
Set in Alcatraz Island, near San Francisco in 1935
Published Puffin; Reprint edition (April 20, 2006)
Pages 225
Awards Newbery Honor selection, California Young Reader Medal in 2007
Followed by Al Capone Shines My Shoes
Al Capone Does My Homework
Al Capone Throws Me A Curve 

Al Capone Does My Shirts is a historical fiction novel for young adults by author Gennifer Choldenko. In this story, Moose Flanagan and his family move from Santa Monica to Alcatraz Island. The move was caused by the father's new job positions as an electrician and as a guard in the well known Alcatraz prison. The book was named as a Newbery Honor selection and in 2007 it received the California Young Reader Medal. It has three sequels, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, Al Capone Does My Homework, and Al Capone Throws Me a Curve.

Moose becomes friends with the warden's daughter, Piper, a girl he clearly likes, who regularly gets into trouble in her attempts to earn money to get off of Alcatraz. Piper talks him into being part of her money-making schemes, like having inmates on the island do laundry for the kids at school. When the scheme flops and the Warden receives word of it, the children are punished and have to find a new way to spend their time. In an attempt to gain acceptance, Moose hangs around the prisoners' rec center in hopes of finding a stray baseball for use in games with the other kids. Moose eventually notices his older sister Natalie developing a relationship with convict 105, also known as Onion, who is trusted and able to roam freely because his sentence is almost up. Onion knows Moose has been looking for a baseball and gives him one. Scared of his sister hanging out with a convict, Moose is only reassured because of his confidence that she will be re-accepted to the Marinoff School. Moose and his family's hopes are crushed when the school rejects Natalie. Desperate to help Natalie, Moose decides to take a risk, with the help of Piper, and writes a letter to the infamous criminal Al Capone, who works in Alcatraz's laundry. The letter asks Capone to pull any strings he has to help Moose's family get his sister back into school. Within days, Natalie is accepted into a new branch of the Esther P. Marinoff School for older children. The next day Moose is getting ready for the day when he finds a note in the sleeve of his shirt with the word "done" underlined.

Other stories

It has three sequels, Al Capone Shines My Shoes (2011) and Al Capone Does My Homework (2014) and Al Capone Throws Me a Curve (2018). A new book is in development.


Stage performance

In 2011, the book was adapted as a stage performance at The Children's Theatre of Western Springs.

In 2019, the book was adapted as a stage performance at Mission Cultural Center by the San Francisco Youth Theatre.

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