Un-Forgettable Friday: Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko (Book Giveaway Contest)
September 19, 2009 in Books With Social Studies Content, Choldenko, Gennifer, Elementary Educators, Making Predictions, Middle Grade Novel, Reading Skills, Un-Forgettable Friday Tags: Al Capone Does My Shirts, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, Book Giveaway Contest, Gennifer Choldenko, Un-Forgettable Fridays
**Leave a comment on this post by Monday, September 21 at noon CST for a chance to win an advanced reader copy of Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko. You can comment about this post, about Alcatraz, about the series, about middle-grade readers for boys, or about anything else that floats your boat–including just a simple “pick me because I want to read this book” comment.
*Middle-grade historical fiction novel
*12-year-old boy as main character
*Rating: Al Capone Shines My Shoes is a wonderful sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts. I love it when the sequel is as good or better than the first. Gennifer Choldenko has made us love Moose Flanagan even more!
Short, short summary: In this much anticipated sequel, fans of Al Capone Does My Shirts are anxiously awaiting to see if Al Capone really got Moose’s sister, Natalie, into the Esther P. Marinoff school or not. What else could the note (that said, “Done”) have meant? It had to mean Al Capone had read Moose’s desperate request to help Natalie get into a school for children with autism and had pulled some strings to get her in. So, what does it mean when at the beginning of Al Capone Shines My Shoes , Moose finds a note that says, “Your turn!” Does Al Capone want a favor from Moose? What could Moose possibly do for the most famous gangster on Alcatraz? Join Moose and his family (his dad is a prison guard on Alcatraz if you aren’t familiar with the first book, and his sister is a teenager with autism) on Alcatraz in 1935 as another adventure begins. All of Moose’s friends are back including Piper, the warden’s beautiful daughter, who is dealing with her own family issues when her mom becomes pregnant; Annie, Moose’s baseball playing friend with a crush; Jimmy and his fly experiments, and all the other lovable Alcatraz crew. Pick up Gennifer Choldenko’s latest! You won’t be disappointed!
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Here is a link to Al Capone Does My Shirts and activities to go with it. You can use these same activities with this novel if this is the first time your children or your students are reading a book in this series, and you haven’t done these activities yet.
2. Friendship and family loyalty are huge themes in this book. Moose has a lot of his friends get angry with him in this book; and for a while, it seems like he can’t figure out what is going on or what he is doing wrong. He feels misunderstood. Have your students or your children journal about Moose’s problems with his friends in this novel. Do they ever feel the same way as Moose? Have they ever had a friend tell a secret like Jimmy told a secret in this book? What about their siblings or members of their family? Do your students get along with their siblings? Why might this be difficult? Do they ever feel the way Piper did about the new baby? Once students think and write about these themes, you can have a good class discussion.
3. After reading a few chapters, ask students or your children to make some predictions. What do they think is going on with Piper? Why is her attitude more nasty than ever? Why is her house a mess? What do they think the “Your Turn” note meant that Moose received? There are several different places where students can stop reading and make predictions based on clues in the novel.
**Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win an Advanced Reader Copy of Al Capone Shines My Shoes.