93 pages 3 hours read

Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Chapters 1-3

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part One

Chapter 1 Summary: Devil’s Island

Friday Jan. 4, 1935

As the book opens, Moose Flanagan’s attitude about his move to Alcatraz Island is clear: “Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water” (3). The Flanagans moved to the island because Moose’s dad Cam will be working as an electrician and a guard in the famous Alcatraz prison—he needs both jobs to earn enough money to send Moose’s sister Natalie to the Esther P. Marinoff School for the intellectually disabled. Natalie is on the autism spectrum, and her mother Helen is desperate to avoid having to send her to an institution. This school is her last hope for her daughter.

Moose and Natalie join 23 other kids who live on the island because their dads also work at the prison. Moose’s only consolation is that he is no longer a runt, but is instead almost six feet tall.

Chapter 2 Summary: Errand Boy

Saturday Jan. 5, 1935

Moose wakes up feeling foolish—because of his sense of unease about being so close to a prison, he had gone to sleep fully clothed and holding on to a baseball bat.

Because Cam is so busy with his two jobs, Moose doesn’t get to spend much time with him.