Al Capone Shines My Shoes, by Gennifer Choldenko

Title: Al Capone Shines My Shoes
Author: Gennifer Choldenko
Pages: 272
Publisher: Dial Books
Copyright: 2009
Format: Hardback
Rating: [rating:4]


I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own.

I read and loved Al Capone Does My Shirts, a Newbery Honor book, a while back. So, I was excited when the publisher asked if I might be interested in an ARC of the sequel! I, of course, eagerly nodded my head.

In this lively sequel, we’re back on Alcatraz with Moose Flanagan. He’s made a bargain of sorts with Al Capone through the laundry system. Al Capone got Moose’s sister Natalie into a special school. Now Al wants Moose to return the favor.

My favorite part about these two books is the setting – the glimpses into the “civilian” life on Alcatraz. It’s lovely and historical without reading like a textbook. And, I love the characters too. Moose is great. So are Piper, Scout, Annie, Theresa, and Jimmy. The plot this time around is fun too. There’s, of course, squabbles among the children, crushes, misunderstandings, and minor emergencies. But when faced with big, life-threatening problems, the Alcatraz kids manage to come together. Choldenko really knows how to put together a children’s book. I look forward to more from her.

Al Capone Shines My Shoes, by Gennifer Choldenko [rating:4]

Other Reviews:
Kids Lit
Killin’ Time Reading
The Novel World
Peaceful Reader
Welcome to My Tweendom

Categories: Fiction, Review Copy, Reviews


  • Michelle

    I did love this sequel to Al Capone does my laundry and was able to meet Gennifer Choldenko at a library reading. She was an interesting speaker, excited to share her journey of writing! Thanks for the link back.

  • Lucy

    Hi. I’m in 7th grade, and we recently got assigned to read “Al Capone does my Shirts”. Of course, I couldn’t help myself, and I read ahead. This book was SO great! I absolutely loved it! I felt a special bond with all of the characters. I really liked Theresa, Piper, Natalie, and especially Moose! I felt the closest bond with Moose though. See, I have an older sibling who has Bipolar Disorder, and it’s very hard to communicate with him, and my family sometimes. Recently, my family got into a little feud, and I was really stressed. But you know what I did? I went into my room, and read the last 8 chapters of your book! It calmed me down, and made me just feel happy. I felt so many different emotions while reading your book. I almost started crying when Ms. Kelly told Moose on the phone how important he was to Natalie. And I was laughing when Natalie fell asleep on the swing! I also loved your book because you really taught your readers about Alcatraz. I knew hardly anything about it, until I read your book! Basically, what I’m trying to get across, is that I loved your book! I really want to email you personally, and really talk to you about this book. So, I loved this book, and I am so excited to read the next one! And thank-you so much for writing such an inspirational, and amazing book!

    P.S. I think you ended the book perfectly!!

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