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

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