December 24, 2009

Book Review: Al Capone Shines My Shoes

Posted by at 7:24 am in Reads | Permalink

Al_capone_shines_my_shoes_130 After the first book Al Capone Does My Shirts won a Newbery Honor, I figured I'd check out Gennifer Choldenko's sequel, Al Capone Shines My Shoes and see what all the rave reviews were about. Fortunately, all the hype surrounding the second book did not disappoint.

I haven't read the first book, so when I first heard the title Al Capone Shines My Shoes, I assumed it was a metaphor of some sort. Then as I started reading, I soon found out that the book does take place in the 1930s during the time of the gangster crime organization, known as the Chicago Outfit. Choldenko sets the book on Alcatraz, an infamous island prison facility which housed some of the most dangerous criminals of all time. Not only do criminals live on the island, but also prison guards and their families as well. This book is about a boy named Moose whose father is a prison guard, so the whole family lives on Alcatraz. Just the idea of living on an island full of America's most violent and aggressive criminals makes for an interesting story.

Choldenko goes beyond just telling about the criminals on the island. She also presents a depiction of the kids' inner feelings towards their friends, family, and own self reflection.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a quick and fun read. Though the dialogue mimics the fast-paced speak of a 1930s film, Choldenko describes the characters in such a precise and detailed way that it is easy to relate to the specific characters.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

—Carly M., STACKS Staffer

  1. Savanna R

    I really like this book! My teacher is reading it to us right now and last year she read’Al Capone Does My Shirts’ and i really really liked it :) ~~~~~~~~Always,Savanna R(:

  2. kayla

    i read the 1st book and i loved it and what you have said is forcing me to read the 2nd

  3. gingerbread778

    aliciaurbestie BTW if you really listen and understand the book and read it to yourself MAYBE just MAYBE you will like it better. just try it!

  4. gingerbread778

    thats awesome and i love books so much maybe i can start reading those if i can find them in my school library,but you rock KEEP BLOGGING!

  5. aidencagebffls

    yea and alcapone does my ties isnt even a real book alcapone dose my SHIRTS is the 1st 1 i googled it!! ha

  6. obiwancrazy

    OMGeese (yes, weird, I know, I just made that up now!) I have to read that… I really loved Al Capone Does My Shirts!

  7. casey

    I love Al Capone he is awsome i know so much about him he rocks like a concert in July. hope you enjoyed the book

  8. jessica

    This book sounds kinda intresting. If i found it in my libary i would probily take a chance reading it. But at this time im in the middle of reading twilight.

  9. 45lunaloony

    My teacher read me AlCapone does my shirts. So know i’m readind the sequel it is so funny to listen to i can’t imaginr how funny it would be if they made it into a movie. It would be hilarious!!!!!!!!!

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