Al Capone Does My Shirts


Matthew “Moose” Flanagan lives on Alakatraz island, where his Dad works as a guard in the high-security prison. The year is 1935 and the prison has a new inmate, Al Capone. This is a source of great fascination for Moose and his friends on the island, including Piper, the trouble-making daughter of the warden. While Moose finds it hard to adjust in his new home, his sister Natalie presents Moose and his family with bigger challenges with her special needs. Moose’s problems escalate when Piper tries to inveigle him into a dubious money making scheme that seeks to exploit the inmates.

This is a gently charming and moving family drama that is believable and realistic. The title might mislead somewhat since the focus is firmly on the children that live by circumstance on the island, not the inmates.  The historic setting is beautifully researched and the author’s post-script reveals fascinating facts about life on Alkatraz.  This will delight the confident reader who loves stories with engaging characters and witty, smart dialogue.


Al Capone Does My Shirts

Gennifer Choldenko


Matthew “Moose” Flanagan lives on Alkatraz Island where his Dad is a prison guard. Among the inmates is Al Capone, who works in the laundry. ‘Al Capone Does My Shirts‘ is a charming and moving family drama, thoughtfully researched, offering a captivating story to confident readers.

Winner of the Newbery Medal

Winner of the Sid Fleischman Award for Humour


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