Al Capone Does My Shirts Questions and Answers
by Gennifer Choldenko

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What is the tone of the novel, Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko?

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In Gennifer Choldenko's Al Capone Does My Shirts, Moose Flanagan moves with his family to Alcatraz Island where his father gets a job at the prison. Moose says:

The convicts we have are the kind other prisons don't want.

Moose's sister, Natalie, has autism. She is sixteen but her mother says she is ten. It is hard for Moose to have a "normal" life because he cares for Natalie while his father works and his mother gives piano lessons, but he is a good brother. To help Natalie, Moose's mother hopes to get Natalie into a private school.

Subplot: the warden's daughter, Piper, has come up with a scheme to have famous inmates launder clothing for the kids at school—for a fee. Al Capone happens to be one of the notorious criminals at Alcatraz.

As a side note, while Capone was a cold-blooded criminal (though he was only ever convicted of tax evasion), he was surprisingly generous to several needy causes. For a man whose empire was worth approximately $62 million dollars, one wonders why he would...

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