Al Capone Does My Shirts

Tales from Alcatraz

Book 1
Sold by Penguin
Ages 9-12
289
Free sample

The Newbery Honor Book and New York Times Bestseller that is historical fiction with a hint of mystery about living at Alcatraz not as a prisoner, but as a kid meeting some of the most famous criminals in our history. Al Capone Does My Shirts has become an instant classic for all kids to read!

Today I moved to Alcatraz, 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 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. And then 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 came here because my mother said I had to.

A Newbery Honor Book
A New York Times Bestseller
A People magazine "Best kid's Book"
An ALA Book for Young Adults
An ALA Notable Book
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Krikus Reviews Editor's Choice
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Parents' Choice Silver Honor Book
A New York Public Library "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing" Selection
A New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age

*"Choldenko's pacing is exquisite. . . . [A] great read."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
*"Exceptionally atmospheric, fast-paced and memorable!"Publishers Weekly, starred review
*"The story, told with humor and skill, will fascinate readers."School Library Journal, starred review

"Al is the perfect novel for a young guy or moll who digs books by Gordon Korman, or Louis Sachar."Time Out New York for Kids

"Funny situations and plot twists abound!"People magazine

"Heartstopping in some places, heartrending in others, and most of all, it is heartwarming."San Francisco Chronicle


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4.2
289 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Apr 20, 2006
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781440629631
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Juvenile Fiction / Family / Siblings
Juvenile Fiction / Historical / United States / 20th Century
Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Adolescence
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In this beautifully written novel, the bonds and challenges of caring for a sibling with autism are bravely explored, along with the pain and power that comes from self-discovery.

Eleven-year-old Olivia Grant has a knack for finding lost things. She can find lost rings, pets, and even her elderly neighbor's misplaced glasses. There's only one thing Olivia has never been able to find--her brother Jacob's toy ostrich. It wasn't until the day Jacob lost his ostrich that Olivia noticed how different he was: Jacob is autistic, and though she's his little sister, Olivia often feels like the older of the pair, his caretaker. And with her parents so heavily focused on maintaining status quo for Jacob, it's Olivia who has stagnated in his shadow--unable to explore new opportunities, or to be her own person. In fact, apart from being Jacob's sister, Olivia's not really sure who she is.

So when summer break begins, and the local community theater announces auditions for an all children's production of her favorite show, Peter Pan, Olivia jumps at the chance to claim something for herself. But what begins as a promising opportunity and a wonderful escape quickly becomes pure chaos. The visiting zoo with an odd assortment of animals--including an ostrich that causes even more trouble than Jacob's missing toy--only make matters worse, as Olivia's summer is shaping up to be just as consumed by Jacob's needs as the rest of her life has been.

In time, and with the help of some unlikely alliances, Olivia must learn what it means to be separate from her brother and still love him, how to love herself in spite of her own flaws, and that not all lost things are meant to be found.

Praise for The Ostrich and Other Lost Things:

"The Ostrich and Other Lost Things is a delicate, warm, textured novel that explores the wonder, pain, envy, and intimacy of sibling relationships. Written with a huge dose of compassion and vulnerability, there is so much to love about the world Olivia and her brother Jacob inhabit. I lost myself in this wonderful world, and I know that Olivia herself wouldn't be able to find me."--Corey Ann Haydu, author of The Someday Suitcase and Rules for Stealing Stars

"Beth Hautala weaves a powerful tale about the challenges of having a sibling with autism. Olivia steals our heart as she tries to find what is lost and make her family whole again. The Ostrich and Other Lost Things is full of memorable characters, riveting moments, and surprising turns that add up to a very heartwarming and magical read. I loved it!"--Dana Middleton, author of The Infinity Year of Avalon James

"A brave beautiful story. I loved this book."--Paul Acampora, author of I Kill the Mockingbird

"Hautala offers an emotionally adept story about love and understanding."--School Library Journal

"This is hands down the best book with an autistic character that I have ever read. I would recommend this title for those who enjoy books like Wonder (Knopf, 2012), Out of My Mind (Atheneum, 2010), and The Running Dream (Knopf, 2011). It has a wonderful plot that readers will love and teaches a lot about dealing with individuals who are diagnosed with autism. This is a must read!"--School Library Connection

"A heartfelt story of sibling relationships, self-discovery, and unconditional love."--Voice of Youth Advocates

"While readers with neurodiverse siblings are the obvious audience for this, the anxieties Olivia expresses and her attempts to control outcomes will resonate with a much broader spectrum of tweens."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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