Thursday, June 03, 2010

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Murderers, Mob Bosses, and Convicts...
These guys are not your average neighbors.
Not unless you live on Alcatraz. It's 1935 and twelve-year-old Mosse Flanagan and his family have just moved to the infamous island that's home to criminals like notorious escapee Roy Gardner, Machine Gun Kelley, and, of course, Al Capone. But that's just the beginning of Moose's troubles because on Alcatraz the kids are all cowed by the clever, danger-loving daughter of the warden, Piper Williams. Now Moose has to try to fit in at his new school, avoid getting caught in one of Piper's countless schemes, and keep an eye on his sister, Natalie, who's not like other kids. All Moose wants to do is protect Natalie, live up to his parents' expectations, and stay out of trouble. But on Alcatraz, trouble is never very far away. 

I have been trying to find a book for my month in my book club-- I have Children's/YA, and the sequel to this book was recommended to me from a friend. I figured I should read the first before the sequel, so... here we are. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I picked it up, but I have to say--It was NOTHING like the back cover made it sound.

This book should have been about Natalie-- because it basically was. Natalie is Moose's older sister who is forever "age 10" (thanks to the delusion of her mother...) and has Autism. The whole book is spent trying to get Natalie into a school for children with special needs. Moose is appointed the task of "baby-sitting" her and making sure she stays happy while his mother and father are constantly working.

This book really could have been set anywhere and the fact that it was set on Alcatraz (an idea I LOVED until I stared reading it) was a bit lost on me. I was just really disappointed. This was such a great idea but the storyline fell REALLY short for me. Needless to say, this will NOT be my book club pick.

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