Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Summary from book: These guys are not your average neighbors. Unless you live on Alcatraz. It's 1935 and twelve-year-old Moose Flanagan and his family have just moved to the infamous island that's home to criminals like notorious escapee Roy Gardner, Machine Gun Kelly and of course, Al Capone. But that's just the beginning of Moose's troubles because on Alcatraz the kids are all cowed by the clever, danger- loving daughter of the warden, Piper Williams. Now Moose has to try to fit in at his new school, avoid getting caught up in one of Piper's countless schemes and keep an eye on his sister, Natalie, who's not like other kids. All Moose wants to do is protect Natalie, live up to his parents' expectations and stay out of trouble. But on Alcatraz, trouble is never very far away.

Basic Outline:
Make Book club T-shirts
Prepare a ‘treasure hunt’
Bowling or play baseball

I pre-washed the T-shirts, used fabric paint-diluted with water, and clear contact paper to make the stripes. Super easy T-shirt. Use a sponge to apply dye to exposed T-shirt. Let dry- remove the contact paper and you have a white/grey striped shirt. (I always put a flattened cereal box inside each shirt so the dye doesn't bleed to other side. )

Book Club T-shirts
Check out my blog for complete directions. T-shirts really help the boys get excited and feel apart of a real club. Making a book club T-shirt for the year is a great way to get boys excited, they also will come in helpful when you go on field trips as a book club.
You can have the boys make the T-shirts as part of your meeting. Play baseball or catch while you wait for paint to dry. Because we were crunched for time this month, I made the T-shirts, sent the boys on a treasure hunt to find them, then we went bowling.

With fabric paint- add serial numbers and book club name on the back of each shirt!

Energy & Incentive Game
Treasure Hunt- Book Club style
For my treasure hunt I used the following questions and placed them in the mentioned hiding spots. Boys collect the questions/clues. For each right answer they learn a letter and come closer to finding out where their treasure lies.
I hid the book club t-shirts in our dryer. My boys figured out the hiding spot after the two letters D- R… so NEXT time I’m going to have my answers be symbols (star, diamond, heart, etc…) They learn a symbol after each answer and THEN have to decode the results. Boys are clever and cunning!

QUESTION ONE (hidden in the microwave)
The Main Character Moose has a sister who is a little different. What are some of Nathalie’s favorite things?
B- She likes to sing and paint
H- She likes to draw and read
D- she likes to count and eat lemon cake

QUESTION TWO (hidden on our back fence gate)
Moose is new to San Francisco, but he does make some new friends at school who like to play his favorite game. Who is his friend and what game is it?
A- Piper and he likes to play Go Water!
R- Scout and he likes to play baseball!
E- Alex and he plays soccer!

QUESTION THREE (hidden under our mailbox)
Why does Moose change his mind about helping Piper with the Laundry plan? (Piper wants to have kids pay them to get their clothes washed by the inmates in Alcatraz. At first he says no, but then he changes his mind.)
y- Piper promises to not make a big deal about Natalie and how she is different. If she makes a big deal- the warden might make Moose and his family move.
T- Piper promises to give him half the money. Moose wants money so he can call his old friends.
I- Piper promises not to tell the warden that Moose stole a baseball from Alcatraz.

QUESTION FOUR (hidden on our hose)
Why does Moose WANT to talk to the Warden. What problem is Moose trying to help solve?
P- Moose promised Scout he would find a baseball for him, but he hasn’t found one yet. He is wondering if the Warden can give him one.
E- Moose wants to ask the Warden to help get his sister in a special school for kids like Natalie. The Warden knows lots of people who might be able to help.
H- Moose wants to tattle on Piper. She is trying to communicate with the inmates and Moose doesn’t want to get in trouble AGAIN like the laundry business. Piper even tried to talk to Al Capone’s MOTHER! She is always causing problems.

QUESTION FIVE (hidden on our hockey net)
Who ended up helping Natalie get into the private and special school?
W- The warden - he called and made the arrangements.
R- Moose asked Al Capone to ask some of his connections to arrange Natalie to get into the private school.
N- Natalie got in on her own. She worked hard with Miss Kelly.

Let these questions start a conversation about the book. What parts did the boys like? Did they predict what 105 meant the first time Natalie said it? Would you want to live on Alcatraz?

Then we went bowling. (My boys like bowling and we have a game center walking distance from our house.) But your club could play baseball instead.

And if you live near San Francisco.. you've got to go visit Alcatraz as a Boys Book Club Field trip! YOU MUST!


Related Posts with Thumbnails