Friday, January 18, 2008

Al Capone Does My Shirts

AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS (Penguin, 2004) by Gennifer Choldenko is a GREAT middle-grade novel with an autistic character. Twelve-year-old Matthew's (Moose) older sister, Natalie, is "not like other kids." The story takes place in 1935, before people really knew what autism was or how to deal with it.

From the fly: Welcome to the Rock. Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water. I'm not the only kid who lives here. There's my sister, Natalie, except she doesn't count. And there are twenty-three other kids who live on the island because their dads work as guards or cooks or doctors or electricians for the prison like my dad does. Plus, there are a ton of murderers, rapists, hit men, con men, stickup men, embezzlers, connivers, burglars, kidnappers and maybe even an innocent man or two, though I doubt it. The convicts we have are the kind other prisons don't want. I never knew prisons could be picky but I guess they can. You get to Alcatraz by being the worst of the worst. Unless you're me. I cam here because my mother said I had to.

AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS is a terrific read. It's even endorsed by my personal picky reader. This book is very funny and will spark conversations about, among other things, family roles, peer pressure and, of course, autism.

Leave a comment by midnight my time (Pacific) on Monday, Jan. 21 and Child #4 will randomly choose one of you to receive a gently-used copy of AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS. (See, I really am keeping my New Year's Resolutions!)

Happy weekend, guys!

25 comments:

Laura said...

ohhhh, pick me, pick me...I have the perfect family that could read this book as a family...please, pretty please, I will do your shirts!

Christine M said...

I've heard great things about this book - but haven't read it yet. Maybe I'll get the chance now!

Patti said...

if i win i will read it and then pass it along to my gaggle of neices and nephews...

the Bradburys said...

I love this book! Have you read Rules by Cynthia Lord yet? Its a great companion.
Jen

Bailey Stewart said...

Thanks for coming by my blog.

This book sounds interesting - I wish they had books like this when I was young.

Trace said...

I had to leave a comment because one of the characters is ASD.

This book is probably above Lane's level but hey I will probably love it!!!

Barrie said...

Laura--You are TOO funny!

Barrie said...

Christine M: it is a really, really good book. And to think it's middle grade. :)

Barrie said...

Patti--Yeah, it's definitely a good book to pass along. And totally off topic, it's a gaggle of geese if they're on the ground or a skein of geese of they're flying. At least, I think I got that right. :)

Barrie said...

Jen, I have not read Rules by Cynthia Lord. Thank you for the recommendation.

Barrie said...

Bailey Stewart: I know what you mean. There are so many great books for kids nowadays.

Barrie said...

Tracey--You left a comment! I'm so proud of you!

Family Adventure said...

It sounds really, really interesting. I am going to pick up a copy when I return to North America (cause I never win anything :)), and read it with my boys. Thanks!

Heidi

Barrie said...

Heidi, can you order from amazon.com? Or is it just too expensive?

Elizabeth said...

Congratulations on your book!
What fun to come upon a writer for children.
I am an expat writer living - an blogging - in Marrakech, Morocco where English books are hard to come by.
I taught Children's Literature on LI for many years.
Wish the web had been around then.
All best wishes

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read and from and interesting twist. Thanks for the recommendation :-)

Monnik said...

this looks really good! Thanks for the review!

we were just in SF last month and took the kids to 'see' alcatraz (from the Wharf - we didn't have time to do the tour)

so I think my 11 year old would love this!

Sara said...

Hello and thank you for your comment on my blog. Ah yes, San Diego. I am from San Diego county originally, and lived in SD itself for 12 years before moving north. I visit whenever I can - still love the place!

Sherry said...

This sounds fantastic...right from the title!!!

Kellan said...

Thanks for the great review - maybe I'll win!! Take care and have a good Sunday Barrie. See you soon. Kellan

The Book Muncher said...

i heard about this book, but i didnt read it

Meredith Teagarden said...

I am always looking for a great book for the kids in my life. Thanks for the recommend.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Sweeet....I'm always looking for a great new book, and I wouldn't have known about it otherwise.

Mary said...

I'm an occasional lurker, first-time commenter, and really enjoy your blog!

Love the sound of this book. Right-up my street!

booklady said...

I LOVED this book! It was hilarious, the historical details were interesting, and I loved learning more about autism. It definitely deserved the Newbery.