Al Capone Does My Shirt Chapters 1-3 Summary & Analysis

Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts

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Al Capone Does My Shirt Chapters 1-3 Summary & Analysis

Part One 

Chapter 1 Summary:  Devils Island 

Friday Jan. 4, 1935

As the book opens, Moose’s attitude about his move to Alcatraz is clear: “Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water” (3). Twenty-three other kids live on the island because their dads work at the prison like Moose’s dad does. The family lives on the island so that Moose’s sister Natalie can attend the Esther P. Marinoff School for the intellectually disabled. Moose’s dad has guard duty. While talking with Natalie, it’s clear that she is autistic and Moose tries to “sound sincere” when talking with her about her new home and school. He used to be a runt and now has grown tall, 5 ft. 11.5 inches (5). 

Chapter 2 Summary: Errand Boy

Saturday Jan. 5, 1935

Moose wakes up feeling foolish that he went to sleep fully clothed, and holding on to a baseball bat. Because Moose’s father has two jobs—electrician and guard)—Moose doesn’t get to spend much time with him.  When he learns that Natalie went out with him earlier he thinks it’s unfair.

Moose’s mother leaves to get groceries and she asks Moose to look after his sister. Someone knocks on their door. Moose is hesitant to answer it because “the last thing is to meet new kids when Natalie’s around. New people don’t understand about her. They just don’t” (10). The girl at the door is Theresa Mattaman; she waltzes right into the room and says she knows all about Natalie from meeting their father. Moose explains that Natalie is “always ten” (11) even though she is older than he is.

Chapter 3 Summary: Trick Monkey 

Same Day – Saturday, Jan. 5, 1935

Theresa takes Natalie and Moose on a tour of the islands and announces that their first stop is the morgue. She tells Moose that her job is to look for dead criminals. Piper (the Warden’s daughter) gave her the job. Theresa has made an information card for Moose to look at while they are on the tour. It states the names of and basic information about some of…

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