I wish. Or perhaps I don’t, now that I think about it. Having a world famous crook anywhere near my footwear may not be a good idea. Especially seeing as Al Capone is dead.
I came late to the first book, Al Capone Does My Shirts, but ever since I found that Gennifer Choldenko was writing a sequel, I have waited and waited. My wait is now over, and the book was more than worth waiting for.
Setting aside the autism angle yet again, which on its own is enough to please me, this is such a marvellous story! It’s deceptively simple, but as you begin reading you’re immediately sucked into the story about Moose and his family and friends and neighbours on Alcatraz. You’re there. I felt as if I lived in a flat on Alcatraz, next door to Moose. Except since I don’t play baseball I would be a disappointing friend.
We have been made to believe that Al Capone helped get Moose’s sister Natalie into a school where she would learn to be a little less autistic. And a favour requires another in return. The big question for Moose is what Capone will ask for.
Apart from Capone problems, Moose also has love problems, friend problems, baseball problems. But he deals with them all, though not necessarily in the best way. His friend Annie asks if, when he has children, they would all play baseball. ‘Why else would you have kids?’ Moose replies.
You can tell that Gennifer has worked on Alcatraz, because the attention to detail is outstanding. Nobody could come up with so many details without knowing the place inside out. I don’t want to suggest Gennifer is old enough to have lived in the 1930s, but she does have a knack for making you think she was there. It’s like the reader is watching an old film.
The cover is in the same vein as her earlier books, and looks good enough to eat. Blue Converses and ice cream colour lettering. Delicious. So I could possibly buy the book for its cover alone without even knowing what’s inside. Al Capone is. Inside.