|Plot Summary of Al Capone Does My Shirts|
|"When twelve-year-old Moose Flanagan moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 after his father gets a job as a prison guard and electrician, he wonders if he'll ever be able to fit it. Back then, guards were required to live on the premises, in case of a prison break. There are other children living on the island, but he does not have another boy his age who likes baseball the way he does. He and the warden's daughter, Piper, take the ferry to San Francisco to attend school. There, Piper enlists his help in one of her many schemes -- to take other childrens' shirts (for profit) and return them after they have been laundered in the Prison facilities. She claims that Al Capone (the infamous gangster) works in the laundry room.
Moose makes friends with the other boys in school, but because he must care for his sister, Natalie, after school, he cannot stay to play ball with them. Natalie is autistic at a time when medical professionals did not understand autism. Their mother hopes to enroll her at the Esther P. Marinoff School, but various factors (her age, her mental difficulties, her obsessions) keep dashing these hopes. Moose tries to protect his sister and help his family survive during times of poverty. He worries about her welfare and must decide whether to let her organize her button collection inside (where it's safe) or take her outside (where he is unsure of how she'll be treated by other residents of Alcatraz Island).
After an incident between Natalie and a prisoner, Moose becomes frightened for her. He doesn't know if she can live in society. He wants to protect her but doesn't know how. Later, when she is rejected by the Esther P. Marinoff School (again), Moose writes a letter to Al Capone which Piper helps him sneak into the pile of letters meant for the prisoner. At the end of the book Natalie is accepted by the special school and Moose finds a note in his freshly laundered shirt."
Samantha S., Resident Scholar
|"Moose lives with his family on Alcatraz because his dad is one of the prison guards. His sister, Natalie, has some mental problems that her mom is not willing to accept. He also meets some new people like Piper, Jimmy, and Theresa. He has to baby sit Natalie everyday which interferes with him getting friends, and Piper is getting him in trouble by doing things like including him in a scheme to have people pay to have their shirts washed by Al Capone. Another problem is that his mom is working very hard to get Natalie into a school for kids even though she is really 16. His problems increase when he goes into the prisoners section of the island to look for a baseball, and loses Natalie. He finds her talking to a prisoner and wonders if she did anything else with the prisoner. He doesn't know how to figure out what happened but tries very hard to make sure his parents don't find out. This is hard because Natalie repeats the prisoner's number consistently.
Cloud City, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Al Capone Does My Shirts|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Life of a profession:
Family, caring for ill
Who is sick?
because he/she is
- mentally ill
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Age 11-14
- a kid
- a teen
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Average intelligence
- very athletic
- average physique
- a teen
- mentally ill
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- throughout most of the book.
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 6 ()
- mostly 1st
- rotating 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
Click here for more information about this book
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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