Thursday, October 15, 2009

Al Capone Shines My Shoes (2009)

Gennifer Choldenko has added another chapter to life of 12-year old Moose, his autistic sister, Natalie, and his friends who live on the grounds of Alcatraz prison, the home for the worst criminals. I have to chuckle when I read the description of how these children, one just starting first grade, hop on a ferry to go to school in San Francisco without a parent to fuss over them. They play baseball on an area right under the cells and some inmates are allowed to work in the residences of the families. Considering most parents won't let their kids cross the street unattended, things sure have changed.

That question aside, Moose finds that favors you get from people like Al Capone can carry a very heavy obligation. In the first book, Al Capone Does My Shirts, Mr. Capone managed to obtain a coveted spot in a special school for Natalie. In this book, Moose finally meets the man face to face.

My father stops near the bars of a cell on the west side. Just one man in this cell, a big beefy guy with dark black hair, dark eyes, a round face, big lips, and the kind of smile that makes you like him without thinking twice about it. He's got shoe polish and a buffing rag on his bed along with a pair of shiny black guard's shoes.

The man stands up and sticks his pudgy hand through the bars. In the shadow of his left side a jagged line cuts across his face - a scar. "That your boy, boss?" he asks.

My father nods. "Moose, meet Al Capone."

I highly recommend this story for readers who enjoy intrigue and some historical fiction.

My rating for this book: +++ 1/2

No comments: