Al Capone Throws Me a Curve

240p. Random/Wendy Lamb Bks. May 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781101938133.
Gr 5–7—In this fourth book in the series, Moose faces a busy summer. While his sister Natalie is maturing and Alcatraz is in the midst of a Bureau of Prison inspection, Moose is struggling to keep Piper out of trouble and vying to be on the high school baseball team. He evolves from a pushover to an assertive young man, who, after a pivotal scene with Al Capone, tells his father the truth about events and stands up to the captain of the baseball team. Natalie grows up, too, offering keen observations about her mother and herself and demonstrating an increased ability to cope with stressful situations. The other characters are less developed, yet Choldenko creates a believable community of flawed individuals. Choldenko provides photographs and historical context for her fictional account in a detailed afterword.
VERDICT A powerful story of love and family that will please fans and newcomers.

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