Friday, August 6, 2010

Al Capone Does My Shirts, I do my socks

I finished listening to Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko yesterday. The story takes place on Alcatraz Island in 1935. At the time, employees of the prison lived on the island with their families because, according to the author's notes, the warden wanted all the guards to be available at once in case of a prisoner uprising. The story centers around Moose Flanagan, whose father is hired as an electrician and guard for the prison and moves the family to the island. Moose's sister is autistic, a condition that was little understood at the time and her behavior causes stress within the family. Moose is a likeable character who is kind to his sister Natalie but doesn't always agree with how his mother deals with the situation. The antics of the warden's mischievous daughter, who is fascinated by the prison and it's occupants, lead Moose into some trouble. The family story is touching and the setting of the story is intriguing, with frequent references to some of the prison's most notorious inmates such as Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. I'd recommend this book for grades 5 and up.

Here are the finished pair of socks as modeled by Mr. Richards. I made him wear them to work today to sort of test drive them. He doesn't like the color of them and, frankly, neither do I. It's funny how a ball of yarn can look so different once it's knitted into something.

So I'm off to start a new project and book. Neither of which I've decided on yet. Maybe a pair of fingerless mitts and The Red Pyramid. We'll see.

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