A Literary Field Trip

When Blaine was in 4th grade, Gennifer Choldenko‘s Al Capone Does My Shirts and its sequels inspired us to visit Alcatraz Island. I highly recommend both the books and the field trip!

Al Capone Does My Shirts is set on Alcatraz in the 1930s. It tells the story of 12-year-old Moose Flanagan, his autistic sister Natalie, and the other kids of prison employees who live on the island.

Here are just a few of the things I like about this book:

  • It has a great first line: “Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water.”
  • It’s packed with interesting historical details, but it’s also the type of book that kids will read for fun (not just as a school assignment).
  • It has lots of baseball. The kids play baseball. The convicts play baseball. The kids search for convict baseballs. Finding all of the baseball spots was one of the highlights of our trip.

Have you ever visited the setting of a favorite book? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Speaking of baseball, Larrabee just finished The San Francisco Splash (Ballpark Mysteries #7). Maybe it’s time for a field trip to AT&T Park!

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