“Today I moved to a twelve acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water.” Al Capone Does My Shirts is set in 1935 on Alcatraz where Capone is an inmate working in the prison laundry. Moose tells how he and his family end up on Alcatraz so that Natalie, Moose’s sister, can attend the Ester P. Marinoff School for students with autism. The story is not so much about Natalie who has autism but about her brother “Moose” and how having a sister with autism affects his life. The family dynamic is well portrayed as is Natalie’s autism. At the time, prison guards and their families live on Alcatraz and the inmates do their laundry. Moose involves Al Capone when the school is reluctant to accept Natalie. The families of the guards and the backdrop of Alcatraz bring humor and fun to the story. A great book for siblings of those with autism and an entertaining read for all. Choldenko continues Moose and Natalie’s story in Al Capone Shines My Shoes.
May 28, 2013