Monday, November 4, 2013

Al Capone Does My Homework (Book #3) by Gennifer Choldenko –ESSENTIAL

Choldenko, Gennifer Al Capone Does My Homework (Book #3) 224 pgs. Dial, 2013. $13.94.  Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.

Like the other two books in this trilogy, this book is set in the 1930’s on Alcatraz Island. Moose is just a kid, but he is extremely worried, about a lot of things. First, about his father, who just got a promotion to Associate Warden for the prison, making him a target for the prisoners. Second, about the safety of his family, since someone set their place on fire, but he has no idea who! Third, about his sister Natalie, who has special needs, and is being blamed for the fire. What a mess! On top of that, the prisoners are up to something! Can Moose and his friends solve their problems, get their homework done, and still have some fun? Al Capone gives him a hint, right on his homework!

This book can easily function as a read alone, I haven’t read the first two books, and really enjoyed this story. Students are drawn in by the ‘Al Capone’ on the cover, but what makes this story so great the skill of the author to create a very real setting. The interaction of the characters, especially the kids, is incredibly authentic. The story is multifaceted and oh so real with the responsibility of caring for a child/sibling who is different and needs extra care. The setting is unique and full of intrigue. I found myself worrying for this main character! I think students will love the conclusion to this series.

EL –ESSENTIAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

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