Al Capone Does My Shirts

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Al Capone Does My Shirts
Al Capone Does My Shirts cover.JPG
Author Gennifer Choldenko
Followed by Al Capone Shines My Shoes

Al Capone Does My Shirts is a 2004 young adult novel written by Southern California-based author Gennifer Choldenko. The book was named as a Newbery Honor selection and in 2007 it received the California Young Reader Medal.

Plot summary[edit]

Matthew Moose Flanagan and his family have just moved to Alcatraz Island,off the coast of San Francisco, and his father has just taken a job as a prison guard and bomb defuser so that his sister Natalie can go to a special school. Moose misses his old baseball team and home, and he struggles for recognition in his new school. Moose also meets a girl, Piper, who is exceedingly attractive and seems nice at first but turns out to be quite obnoxious. His sister, Natalie, who has a severe case of autism, is rejected from the Esther P. Marinoff School crushing her parents' hopes and dreams for Natalie's education. Moose takes care of Natalie after school because his mother, Helen, teaches music lessons, and he must find a way to deal with Natalie's screaming fits and constant needs, including lemon cake,counting,tantrums and buttons. Complicating Moose's life even more is Piper, the daughter of the prison warden. Piper lures Moose into her scheme to make money by collecting laundry from their classmates with the promise that Al Capone is among the convicts assigned to laundry duty on Alcatraz.


  • Matthew "Moose" Flanagan - 12 year old boy who plays baseball and cares for his sister and would do anything to help her.
  • Natalie Flanagan - Moose's 16 year old autistic sister; who causes controversy throughout the book.
  • Piper Williams - 12 year old daughter of the warden, has a collection of prisoner baseballs, and goes against her father's rules.
  • Scout - Moose's best friend and plays baseball with Moose.
  • Cameron "Cam" Flanagan - Moose's father, works two jobs on Alcatraz (electrician and a guard), looked up to by Moose.
  • Warden Williams - Father of Piper Williams; is the warden of Alcatraz, very strict about rules.
  • "Onion" - Prisoner #105 of Alcatraz, loves Natalie Flanagan. He has that nickname by having very greasy, white-like hair.
  • Annie - Only person on the island who can play ball well.
  • Jimmy Mattaman - Theresa's older brother, a fly trainer, and a builder of mechanical deices
  • Theresa Mattaman - Jimmy's younger sister and a tour guide like personality.
  • Al Capone - Notorious criminal (mob boss and gangster) on Alcatraz, successively accomplishes.
  • Helen Flanagan- Moose's mother that does everything she can to get Natalie into a school that can help her be 'normal'. However,in doing this, she often overlooks Moose.
  • Mr. Purdy - The headmaster of the boarding school Natalie went to.
  • Carrie Kelly - Natalie's teacher to prepare her for Esther P. Marinoff, a boarding school for special needs.

External links[edit]