Review of the Week

al caponeCholdenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Homework: A Tale from Alcatraz.  Fiction. Dial, 2013. 224p. $17.99.  978-0-8037-3472-2. OUTSTANDING.  GRADES 5-8.

Moose Flanagan
’s dad has been promoted to associate warden and thus become a target. When an unexplained fire is pinned on his autistic sister, Natalie, Moose and his friends must discover the real arsonist. In this third and final installment in the series, Choldenko explores issues of responsibility, effortlessly weaving in historical details and broadening the scope to include consideration of those who have crossed a moral line while including ambiguity. Nuanced writing and believable characters complement a packed plot that includes a knifing, arson, counterfeiting, mystery gifts, cockroach messengers, and a long-anticipated kiss. Review based on an ARC.

Melissa McAvoy, Live Oak School

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