Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Goodbye to Alcatraz

There are a lot of things going on for Moose now that summer is approaching. He desperately wants to be on the high school baseball team, even though freshman rarely are. Also, Natalie has her 17th birthday, and her growing pains are evident. Her mother still dresses her like a ten year old, and wants to get her hair cut in a much younger style, but Bea Trixle has other ideas and not only cuts her hair in a stylish fashion for a young lady, but gives her two dresses that make Natalie feel more grown up. This causes some problems, including her crush on one of Moose's teammates after he is very nice to her and even gives her a button. Natalie keeps talking about Passerini, and even tells people that they are getting married. Bea even believes her! Moose knows he needs to have something special to bring to the team so that they let him on, and the other boys ask for pictures of Moose with Al Capone, and that sort of thing, which is just not realistic. Natalie hears this talk and brings their father's gun to a practice. This gets Moose in big trouble, but he doesn't tell on his sister. Piper is also causing him a lot of problems, since the warden approaches Moose to help look after her and keep her out of trouble. When the prisoners go on strike, Moose helps out with some of the work. One of the inmates, Fastball, is set to be released soon, so doesn't go on strike. When Bea plays a trick on Natalie so that Moose's father will look bad and her husband will be promoted to warden instead of him, Fastball is very helpful in getting Natalie out of a tricky situation. Moose realizes that while Alcatraz is a good place for him to be, it is not a great place for Natalie, and he helps his parents work through the process of getting her placed where she can flourish.

Good Points
This wraps up the story of Moose's family very nicely, showcases some nice growth from all concerned (even the father and mother!), and offers a glimpse of a particular place and time that is at once unusual and yet universal. The struggles the family has with finding a good place for Natalie would have been more difficult in the 1930s, but are still not easy today, but it was good to see that she had an affinity for bookkeeping and was able to excel at it. Moose's every day struggles with friends, school and baseball are realistic as well.

Moose is steadfast in his loyalty to his friends and to his sister. It is interesting to see Natalie as she becomes a young woman, and alarming to see how she is mistreated by someone who knows her, even if this is an all too common occurrence. Moose is even loyal to Piper, who is still a challenging individual.

The information about the historic site of Alzatraz at the end of the book was very interesting, and gave a lot of good details about many aspect of life during this time at this location. Choldenko has done a lot of research throughout this series, and it's great that she shares it with her readers. I just wish I were close enough to go on a field trip to Alcatraz!

I'd love to see more books set during the 1930s, since that decade before World War II has many similarities to modern culture, but also so many differences. Readers who are fond of delving into this era with books such as Milton Meltzer's semiautobiograpical Tough Times, Richard Peck's A Long Way From Chicago novels, Curtis' The Mighty Miss Malone and Holm's Turtle in Paradise books will enjoy this vivid tale of life during this era surrounded by some of its most daring and infamous criminals.
Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Little Girl Who Wanted to be Big
The internet’s “World’s Best Father," award-winning photographer Dave Engledow, follows...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Diamond and the Boy
Told in a unique dual-narrative format, The Diamond and the...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Little Penguin Stays Awake
A charming companion to Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Merry Christmas, Little One
Christmas comes but once a year - Time...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hi-Five Animals
What's the best way to say hello to anyone you...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Three Little Superpigs
After defeating the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Superpigs...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twice Dead
Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I, Sofia-Elisabete, Love Child of Colonel Fitzwilliam: A Perfect World in the Moon
In 1815, a 5-year-old girl searches for Utopia in a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Way I Used to Be
The main character Eden is raped by her brother's best...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Agony House
Denise Farber has just moved back to New Orleans with...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
PortalsByAnnChristy.jpg
The world sees the portals as an invasion. For Lysa,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
ONE RULE. DON'T FALL FOR THE BAD BOY. Sixteen-year-old Jasmine...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Island of Monsters (Spirit Hunters #2)
The perfect spooky read for Halloween, this pulse-pounding adventure will...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four Three Two One
Golden “Go” Jennings wasn’t supposed to be on Bus 21...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Lines We Cross
Michael likes to hang out with his friends and play...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Max Tilt: 80 Days or Die
When thirteen-year-old Max Tilt stumbled across his great-great-great-grandfather Jules Verne’s...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Here to Stay
 
4.7
"Bijan Majidi does okay in high school-- he has a good friend, Sean, is on the basketball team, and while..."
Coming Up For Air
 
4.3
""Coming Up for Air" is a really fantastic YA romance. Maggie and Levi have been BFFs since they were 2..."
Dreams
 
4.7
"In 'Dreams' by Michelle Lynn, the past is a constant struggle while hope seems almost an irreparable goal. Yet, in..."
Game Change
 
4.0
"GAME CHANGE by Joseph Monninger follows its main character Zeb Holloway for one week in his life--and what a week..."
Coming Up For Air
 
4.3
"Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat. All of Maggie’s focus and free time..."
The Football Girl
 
5.0
"An amazing book with appealing characters."
The Football Girl
 
5.0
"Tessa is a great athlete-- she runs in a local race with her friends Marina and Lexie and wins first..."
The Crossover
 
5.0
"From the moment I heard Kwame Alexander read aloud a selection from his books, I knew I needed to pick..."
Defending Taylor
 
4.0
"This was an interesting book. Filled with the hardships of meeting expectations, Taylor is not sure what she wants to..."
Outward Blonde
 
4.7
"'Outward Blonde' by Trish Cook was a fun read. Main character Lizzie, while believing she is fiercely independent and able..."
Welcome to the Show: A Mickey Tussler Novel
 
3.0
"WELCOME TO THE SHOW by Frank Nappi is the third in the Mickey Tussler series featuring (you guessed it!) Mickey..."
Dreams
 
5.0
"Dreams by Michelle Lynn The Story: Taylor lost herself when the boy she loved died, and years later she..."
Top Prospect
 
4.7
"After Travis' older brother Carter is signed with the Gainesville Gators football team, Travis is thrilled. He also feels a..."
Defending Taylor
 
5.0
"It’s a great experience to jump back into the world of Hundred Oaks. This series has been one of my..."
Gutless
 
5.0
"Brock is a good kid, and a good athlete, and he's struggling with some difficult things in his life. His..."
Girl Against The Universe
 
5.0
"This book is good luck. It got me out of my reading slump. It picked me up when I was..."
If You're Reading This
 
3.3
"This YA contemporary centers around an almost 16-year-old boy named Michael Wilson, and his coming-of-age struggles as he shoulders the..."
Eleven Things I Promised
 
4.3
"Frances and her best friend Stella have planned to complete a 300+ mile bike ride for charity. Stella is the..."
Fast Break
 
4.7
"Jayson's mother dies of drug related problems and her boyfriend pays the rent for two months and then takes off...."
The Revenge Playbook
 
4.7
"Warning: The following review may be incoherent for the following reasons: (1) There are no words to describe how much..."