Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Al Capone Shines My Shoes

Al Capone Shines My Shoes. Gennifer Choldenko. 2009. 274 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: 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.

Premise/plot: Al Capone Shines My Shoes is the sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts. Both books are set on the island of Alcatraz in 1935. Both are narrated by our baseball loving hero, Moose Flanagan.


In Al Capone Does My Shirts a desperate Moose turns to Al Capone for help. His sister, Natalie, needs to be admitted to a special school--a school for special needs children. The school has rejected her twice claiming that she's too old to be helped or that she's just not a good fit for their program.

Moose's plea for help worked--or at least he thinks it did! Natalie is now away at school. Life should be moving smoothly. But it isn't. It's a MESS. His relationships with his friends are all over the place. There's his off-island friend, Scout, his on-island friends Jimmy, Annie, Theresa, and PIPER. From day to day, Moose is never sure who is going to be MAD at him. But his problems aren't just juvenile. He's got a few ADULT problems as well. Al Capone wants a favor. How can he say yes? How can he say no? No matter what happens next, it could be big, big trouble for him and his family.

My thoughts: Al Capone Shines My Shoes is an action-packed, emotional roller coaster. There's some melodrama with Moose and his friends, but, there's also some very real DRAMA with an attempted prison escape.

I definitely liked this one. It was a quick, compelling read.


© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 comments:

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

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).

I also review adult books.

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.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP