Al Capone Does My Shirt Chapters 10-12 Summary & Analysis

Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts

  • 36-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 13 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a high school English teacher with over 10 years of experience
Access Full Summary

Al Capone Does My Shirt Chapters 10-12 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 10 Summary: Not Ready

Same day – Monday, January 7, 1935

After Moose returns home from school, he answers a call from the Esther P. Marinoff School. Mr. Purdy, the headmaster, informs Moose that his parents will need to pick Natalie up that evening because she is not settling in at all. Moose asks Mr. Purdy how he can tell that Natalie is not ready for the school when she has only been there for thirty-six hours. Mr. Purdy says that “these things become clear rather quickly” (61).

When Moose hangs up the phone, his mom is home and she sees the sad look on his face. She thinks it is because he misses Natalie. Moose wakes his dad up and tells him about the phone call from Mr. Purdy. Cam tells Moose that “ take it from here” (63).

Chapter 11 Summary: The Best in the Country

Same day – Monday, January 7, 1935

Moose’s mother barely reacts to the news that they must pick Natalie up, except to demand that they leave immediately. Cam cannot come along because he has to work, and so Moose goes with his mother.

Moose tells the reader of the many other ways they have tried to “figure out” Natalie: “heat treatments…the aluminum formula and…UCLA” (64-65).  The testing at UCLA turned out to be a failure, although they advised Helen that they should “donate brain to science when she dies” (65). The impact of these previous failed attempts was palpable: “Things fell apart at my house after that. Ants in the sink. Flies on the garbage. Cereal for supper. No clean dishes. Natalie in the same dirty dress. The blood of picked scabs on her arm” (65).

In Mr. Purdy’s office, Helen implores him to give Natalie another chance. Mr. Purdy gives her a piece of paper with the name Mrs. Kelly on it. “No matter what this little paper says, mother will do it” (67). The heart-breaking reality of why Natalie can’t stay is revealed when Mr. Purdy explains Natalie’s behavior: “We can’t have a child who screams like a banshee at five-fifteen in the morning…

This is just a preview. The entire section has 777 words. Click below to download the full study guide for Al Capone Does My Shirts.