Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Al Capone Shines My Shoes (MG, YA)

Choldenko, Gennifer. 2009. Al Capone Shines My Shoes. Penguin. 275 pages.

Nothing is the way it's supposed to be when you live on an island with a billion birds, a ton of bird crap, a few dozen rifles, machine guns, and automatics, and 278 of America's worst criminals--"the cream of the criminal crop" as one of our felons likes to say. The convicts on Alcatraz are rotten to the core, crazy in the head, and as slippery as eels in axle grease.

This is the sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts. And I liked it. Moose Flanagan is still a compelling narrator. I *still* don't know what Moose sees in Piper. How he can possibly like her like her when a wonderful girl like Annie is around. But Moose is still a good guy, even if he doesn't have the best taste in girls. If you thought life would calm down after Natalie, Moose's autistic sister, got accepted into a special school, then think again. Life gets very, very messy in the sequel. An exciting messy though. And a scary messy now that I think about it.

This one is a unique historical fiction novel about family and friends, criminals and baseball. (This one is set in 1935.) I don't want to tell you *too* much about the book itself. Because some books are just like that. There is joy in discovering the book for yourself. But I can say that I enjoyed this one. I found it an exciting, compelling read. I didn't know quite what to expect. I didn't know if I would like it as much as I liked the first book. I wasn't sure--at the start--that the book "needed" a sequel. I'm still not convinced that the sequel had to happen. (I think the first one stands alone just fine.) But the sequel is good. It wasn't a disappointment. It was nice to revisit these characters. So I'm definitely glad I read it!

I love the author's note on this one.

Other reviews:

The Bluestocking Society,
Kids Lit
Killin’ Time Reading
The Novel World
Peaceful Reader
Welcome to My Tweendom

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Jennie 1:28 PM  

On the other hand, I don't think Moose knows what he sees in Piper. Besides the fact she's pretty.

Cathy 8:11 PM  

I recently read and enjoyed Al Capone Does My Shirts, so I really appreciated your review!

Peaceful Reader 2:49 PM  

Is that typical of young men though-they always like the "wrong" women first!! Thank you for the linking to me!!

Tea 4:45 PM  

Hi Becky,

You have won an award on my blog, http://readwithtea.blogspot.com. Please let me know you have gotten it. Then, I can mark off your name. Enjoy!

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

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