93 pages 3 hours read

Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers, and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay.

Differentiation Suggestion: For English learners or struggling writers, strategies that work well include graphic organizers, sentence frames or starters, group work, or oral responses.

Scaffolded Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the bulleted outlines below. Cite details from the text over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. Alcatraz is described negatively by Moose at first, who claims it is a “rock covered by cement topped with a bird turd and surrounded by water.” (Chapter 1)

  • How is the setting of Alcatraz Island developed as a character in the novel? (topic sentence)
  • Explain how the history of the island, the visual appeal of the island, and the isolation of the island all contribute to Alcatraz as its own character in the novel.
  • In your concluding sentence or sentences, describe how the author contributes to the island’s character through her descriptions.

2. Piper is often depicted as selfish and unfeeling toward other characters.

  • What is Piper’s role in the novel? (topic sentence)
  • Explain how Piper influences Moose’s behavior and contributes to his character development.