Gennifer Choldenko Author Biography
Gennifer Choldenko's first novel, Notes from a Liar and Her Dog, was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a California Book Award winner. Her second novel, Al Capone Does My Shirts, was a Newbery Honor Book and a School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Al Capone Does My Shirts has sold more than a million copies worldwide. It has been on the New York Times, Booksense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. Her most recent picture book, A Giant Crush (illustrated by Melissa Sweet), was published in 2011. If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, an ALA notable recording, just came out in paperback, and her novel Al Capone Shines My Shoesa sequel to the beloved Al Capone Does My Shirtsis a Kirkus, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chicago ...
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Gr 6-8-This conclusion to the trilogy picks up four months after Al Capone Shines My Shoes (Dial, 2009). Moose still feels the burden of looking out for his loved ones: protecting his father, newly promoted to Associate Warden; and caring for sister, whose latest challenge is learning to make eye contact with people. One night when he is babysitting Natalie, a fire breaks out in the family's apartment. Moose fears it's his fault because he fell asleep, and the resentful Trixle family blames Natalie. Moose and the Alcatraz kids (Piper, Annie, Jimmy, and Theresa) band together to find out what really caused the fire. Adding to the mystery, island residents are suddenly receiving anonymous gifts. Multiple reveals keep the pages turning quickly. Choldenko is unsurpassed at interweaving plot with historical detail, drawing a touching parallel between Natalie and first-term President Franklin Roosevelt. She uses Capone's celebrity status as a foil to Moose's father, which helps the 13-year-old appreciate his father's understated strengths. The trilogy ends on an uplifting note for Moose and Natalie. Choldenko hints that Natalie's math skills could lead to a meaningful life for her and Moose won't always have the weight of the world on his shoulders. His dad reassures him: "All you can do is try to inspire each person to be their best self." While the book ably stands alone, it delivers a satisfying conclusion to readers who've grown fond of this cast of characters.-M. Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NYÎ±(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.