Study Guide

Al Capone Does My Shirts Friendship

By Gennifer Choldenko


Living on Alcatraz Island as a kid would be a heck of a lot more difficult if it weren't for friends. Moose, Piper, Theresa, and the rest of the gang bond together in Al Capone Does My Shirts, forming a little group around their shared experiences. Their adventures on and off the island entertain them, and while they're often up to no good (thanks to their fearless leader, Piper), their friendship is definitely a bright spot in their lives. And they don't just share in the good times, either; these kids help each other through some pretty important moments, which they're all the better for.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Would these characters all be friends if they didn't live on Alcatraz together? Why or why not? Give examples from the text to support.
  2. What are some of the ways that each of the characters go about making friends? How do these ways relate to them as characters?
  3. What is Natalie's role in the friend group? Does it change? If so, how? If not, why not?

Chew on This

Friendship and community are key factors in Natalie's behavioral improvements throughout the book.

Moose's friends provide a balance to his family life, letting him be a kid despite the responsibilities he has at home.

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