Saturday, October 25, 2014

Walking and Listening to "Al Capone Does My Homework"

Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Homework. 6 hr. 4 min. Listening Library.  201, $40.00 ISBN 978-085361606
Downloaded from OverDrive

Ahhh..Alcatraz, who isn't fascinated by this prison? Tourist, including myself, have been visiting this prison for years. In fact the reason I really wanted to visit it a few years back was because of Gennifer Choldenko's book Al Capone Does My Shirts. Up to that point I had no idea that the prison employees and their families had lived there. I thought only prisoners resided on the island.

Moose's father has just been made Associate Warden at Alcatraz, putting him second in command. This puts additional pressure onto Moose's family and wanting to know more about what this means for him, Moose visits Piper, the Warden's daughter. Piper tells him how the prisoners target the guards and wardens and explains the point system they have in place for things done to guards i.e. 10 points for spitting on a guard and up to 5,000 points for killing a warden. One evening Moose's parents head out with the warden to celebrate his promotion leaving Moose in charge of his autistic sister Natalie. While Moose's parents are gone, their apartment erupts into flames. Some people who live on the island blame Natalie since they don't fully understand or accept her because she is different from them.  Others on the island find the fire and the timing of it rather suspicious. Moose and his friends decide to take matters into their own hands to see if they can determine what really happened and who was behind it all. From there the stories takes several unexpected twists and turns that involve a hidden note, money laundering, a message from Al Capone and a stabbing. I loved it all!
Side note: Make sure you stick around for the author's note, it is extremely informative and super interesting.

Kirby Heyborne has narrated all of the books in the Alcatraz series and while this was the first opportunity I had to listen to an Alcatraz book (I had read the others), I must say I enjoyed his narration. His pacing was nice and the desperation in Moose's voice both when calling the Warden's office to demand a meeting and his calling out to his father when he realized what Indiana was about to do to his father felt incredibly genuine and in the moment. While there was little differentiation between character voices, I must say his vocalization of loved Al Capone was my favorite.

As I was walking I was luckily able to escape this fierce rhino totally unscathed. Phew!

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