Everything you need to understand or teach Al Capone Does My Homework by Gennifer Choldenko.
Al Capone Does My Homework by Gennifer Choldenko is a young adult novel. It is narrated by Moose, a thirteen-year-old, who lives with his family on the island of Alcatraz. Alcatraz is the location of the prison where Moose's father is an associate warden. A series of events leads Moose to feel overwhelmed by a sense of responsibility. First, the family's apartment catches fire one night while Moose is babysitting Nat, his autistic sister. Then, his friend Pippa becomes complicit in a counterfeit scheme. Finally, his father is stabbed by an inmate at Alcatraz. Moose thinks he is somehow responsible for all of these misfortunes and misdeeds until his father convinces him that some things in life are out of one's control. Each person is responsible only for his own actions. Themes in the novel include coming of age, the symptoms and challenges of autism, and civilian life on Alcatraz.