Wednesday, August 11, 2010

#29 - Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

This is a 2005 Honor book.

This was a really great book! Here is the "commercial" on the back:

"Murderers, mob bosses, and convicts...these guys are not your average neighbors. Not unless you live on Alcatraz. It's 1935 and twelve-year-old Moose Flanagan and his family have just moved to the infamous island that's home to criminals like notorious escapee Roy Gardner, Machine Gun Kelly, and, of course, Al Capone. But that's just the beginning of Moose's troubles because on Alcatraz the kids are all cowed by the clever, danger-loving daughter of the warden, Piper Williams. Now Moose has to try to fit in at his new school, avoid getting caught up in one of Piper's countless schemes, and keep an eye on his sister, Natalie, who's not like other kids. All Moose wants to do is protect Natalie, live up to his parents' expectations, and stay out of trouble. But on Alcatraz, trouble is never very far away."

Moose's sister Natalie, who they tell everyone is only 10, but she is actually 15, is autistic. Autism is a disorder that has always fascinated me, so it was very interesting to read about how this was dealt with in the 1930's. They didn't even have the diagnosis of autism back then, and they were often put in "insane asylums." But, the family in this book were determined to do all they could to help Natalie lead a normal life, and that was the primary topic of this book. Moose's close relationship to his sister was heart warming. I highly recommend this book!

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