Al Capone Does My Shirts
This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
In 1935, 12-year-old Moose moves with his parents and autistic sister, Natalie, to Alcatraz Island. Moose must cater to the whims of the warden's conniving daughter, Piper, and care extensively for Natalie. Fascinated by the nearby cons — especially Al Capone — Moose, Piper and the other island kids pull crazy stunts to get near the criminals and impress nonisland kids. After Moose's parents fail to get Natalie into a special school several times, Moose decides to enlist the help of Capone himself.
Moose's mother takes Natalie to a charismatic church and reads the Bible to her for two hours a day. This is one of several unsuccessful, temporary "healing" attempts to cure Natalie's autism. Another girl on the island is sent to church daily as a punishment for misbehaving.
Other Belief Systems
Moose mentions that his mother ordered Voodoo dolls in an effort to cure Natalie.
Infrequent use of darn, cripes sake. Jesus' name used in vain. Some bathroom humor.
Moose worries that an inmate may have taken advantage of Natalie, but these concerns are only implied. Natalie takes off all of her clothes during a brief episode of nonsexual nudity.
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Readability Age Range
10 and up
G. P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group
Newbery Honor Book, 2005; ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2005; ALA Notable Children's Book, 2005