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.

Reading Context

Use these questions or activities to help gauge students’ familiarity with and spark their interest in the context of the work, giving them an entry point into the text itself.

Short Answer

1. What important events happened in the 1930s? What might have caused a spike in crime during this time?

Teaching Suggestion: Moose, the novel’s protagonist, is forced to move to Alcatraz Island when his parents are seeking help for his sister’s autism. The novel is set in the 1930s, when Al Capone is imprisoned on the island. Introducing the novel might include direct instruction or student investigation into the social upheaval of the 1930s and the spike in crime during this time. Students might utilize these or similar resources for an overview of the 1930s and Prohibition’s role in the rise of crime.

2. What is autism? How might treatment for children on the autism spectrum be different today than it was in the past?

Teaching Suggestion: Natalie, Moose’s sister, is on the autism spectrum. Her family is uncertain of how to help her because there is little understanding of autism in the 1930s.