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Month in review

Reviews
Al Capone Shines My Shoes (audio) by Gennifer Choldenko
Alameda County Breeding Bird Atlas by Bob Richmond
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Born on a Blue Day (audio) by Daniel Tammet
Croak by Gina Damico
Dr. Seuss: The Cat Behind the Hat by Caroline W. Smith
Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russell Rich
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Glorious Adventures of the Sunshine Queen by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Googlization of Everything by Siva Vaidhyanathan
Ida B. (audio) by Katherine Hannigan
In Memory of the Map by Christopher Norment
The Legend of the Ghost Dog by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Lost Cities by Dale Peck
The Lowdown on Denim by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
The Mermaid's Mirror by LK Madigan
The Moffats by Eleanor Estes
101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic ... but Didn't! by Tim Maltin
Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder
The Pirate's Daughter by Robert Girardi
Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean
Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoonmaker
Stitches by David Small
Swahili for the Broken-Hearted by Peter Moore
Swish by Joel Derfner
Twin Spica 07 by Kou Yaginuma
Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Al Capone Shines My Shoes: 11/05/12

cover art

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko is the sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts. In the first book, Moose got a favor from Al Capone and now he's received a message: "Your turn."

While Natalie is living in her special school in San Francisco, Moose and his family continue to live and work on Alcatraz Island. Now that Moose is no longer the new guy, he has to find his place among the other children.

In the first book the plot was focused Moose and his relationship with his older sister, Natalie. Alcatraz, except for Al Capone intervening at the end, was secondary to the plot. With her (for the most part) out of the picture, strife amongst the children and personal dramas in each of the families is introduced instead. Instead of being able to build one, credible and compelling story about another of the Alcatraz families, the book is flooded with numerous competing dramas. It's too much to take in.

To further complicate things, Choldenko tosses in an escape attempt that both puts the children in danger and gives them a chance to save the day while the parents are too distracted to notice. While there were some thrilling scenes in this climax, the Scooby Doo wrap up had me shaking my head in disbelief.

Three stars

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