93 pages 3 hours read

Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade

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Chapters 16-18

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part One

Chapter 16 Summary: Capone Washed Your Shirts

Monday, January 14, 1935

When Moose gets on the boat to school, he sees that Piper has three large bags of laundry. Mr. Trixle, one of the prison guards who has a day off, questions Piper about the bags, but Piper explains that it is a science experiment. The guard doesn’t fully believe her, but let’s her go because “You got an answer for everything […] just like your old man” (99). Moose helps carry two bags without saying a word.

At school, Piper unlocks a supply closet in the home economics room and put the bags in there. Alarmed by her casual disregard of any rules, Moose wants “to stay away from her” (100), but at lunch, he sees her carrying the laundry bags and comes to help.

Scout finds Moose and tells him there will be a baseball game on Tuesday. Moose is overjoyed that he will be able to play.

Piper hands out the laundered clothes to the kids, and they are not happy. They were expecting blood or bullet holes but the shirts are just clean. There’s no way to tell that Alcatraz prisoners actually washed them. A student named Del is particularly mad, accusing Piper of conning the whole class out of their money.