Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book Review: Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Shines My Shoes is more of the story of Moose's life on Alcatraz.  Moose's sister Natalie got into a special school, with a little help from Capone, and she seems to be adjusting.  But, just when things seem to be settling down, Moose gets a note from Capone: now it's his turn to return the favor.  Moose finds himself caught up in things he never wanted to be a part of.  Will he be able to disentangle himself from the crooked life and still keep his friends?

Al Capone Shines My Shoes

Things I Liked:
I liked how this book was different from the first one.  The plot, the things that were emphasized, everything but the characters.  To me, that is what a sequel should be.  I found I liked Moose even more in this one, even if all his friends started to hate him for various reasons.  The gangster element also adds a little spice to this 1930s story.  It is a great historical fiction with emotions teens and tweens will recognize today.  I liked seeing different kinds of family interactions with all the kids and their parents.  Interesting thoughts:

"Her life isn't gonna go the expected way.  But just because she doesn't see the world like you and me doesn't mean she isn't getting just as much out of her days as we do.  Who are we to say what life's supposed to be about, Moose?" p 158
"People say I was heroic by calling for help the way I did, but I know how close I came to staying silent.  I scared myself that night.  I saw how much I want to get along.  But sometimes you have to make trouble.  Sometimes making trouble is the right thing to do." p 256
Things I Didn't Like:
It was a little slow at first, but picked right up.

Read Al Capone Does My Shirts by Choldenko first

Also a bit like The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd (another autistic character)

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: X
a very few teenage boy thoughts

v-factor: ->
very minor, but some incidents

Overall rating: ****

If I had been more on top of it, I would have posted this last month for National Autism Awareness Month.  Alas, I am quite scatterbrained lately. 
Do you have a favorite book with an autistic character?


If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

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