Al Capone Does My Homework (Al Capone at Alcatraz #3)

Al Capone Does My Homework (Al Capone at Alcatraz #3)
Age Range
Release Date
August 20, 2013
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lcatraz Island in the 1930s isn't the most normal place to grow up, but it's home for Moose Flanagan, his autistic sister, Natalie, and all the families of the guards. When Moose's dad gets promoted to Associate Warden, despite being an unlikely candidate, it's a big deal. But the cons have a point system for targeting prison employees, and his dad is now in serious danger. After a fire starts in the Flanagan's apartment, Natalie is blamed, and Moose bands with the other kids to track down the possible arsonist. Then Moose gets a cryptic note from the notorious Al Capone himself. Is Capone trying to protect Moose's dad too? If Moose can't figure out what Capone's note means, it may be too late.

The last heart-pounding installment in the New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor-winning Alcatraz trilogy is not to be missed!

Editor review

1 review
Another Fun Alcatraz Mystery
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What I Liked:
I’m going to keep this short (and for once I think I won’t just say that and then type on for the usual length of review), as the Al Capone at Alcatraz series is quite consistent in quality and subject matter. If you liked the previous two, you’re sure to enjoy this one as well.

To me, the most interesting element continues to be the relationships, particularly the way anyone interacts with Natalie. Moose still takes care of his autistic older sister Natalie most of the time, but he’s much more understanding than he used to be and also much more convinced that he can help her learn to function more normally. His parents are now much more conservative, afraid to rock the boat, but Moose knows that, with a lot of hard work, she could mix better with society. What they’re working on in Al Capone Does My Homework is getting Natalie to make eye contact with people, particularly during conversations. Throughout all of this, though, I like that Choldenko never shows Natalie as a pathetic figure or wrong. She always holds up the good with the bad.

What Left Me Wanting More:
The mystery didn’t interest me all that much, perhaps because I’m a bit sick of watching everyone on the island mistrust Natalie. She’s been there for three book’s already, so stop assuming she’s evil and/or dangerous. She just thinks about the world differently; get over it. I mean, I get it, but ugh. Plus, I’m not really into mysteries. I am, however, highly entertained by the middle grade romance, which has now turned into a love triangle. Moose has his pick of the ladies his age on Alcatraz. All two of them. This amuses me no end.

The Final Verdict:
I think I preferred the series slightly on audio, but that may just be because I experienced it that way first. This continues to be a fun series, which I recommend for readers who enjoy unusual settings.
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