Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Literary Feast Discussion: Al Capone Does My Shirts (pp. 125-175)

Al Capone Does My ShirtsRound three of our Al Capone Does My Shirts Discussion!  Let's hop to it, shall we?

SHEL: And the frustrations continue!  Now Piper AND the mom are on my poopie list.

Monica:  ::: LAUGHS :::  I’m glad to see this book is enhancing your vocabulary set.  ;)  But seriously, I love the mom, but she is driving me up the wall.  I recognize that you’re stressed and all, Mother, but you do have *two* children…. 

SHEL: Okay, so I take it back about what we discussed about the cover.  I still like the photo of Alcatraz, but I've decided I don't like the rest of the cover.  The little coat-hanger hanging off the text and the handwritten "I live here" feel too young for the content.  This isn't a cartoonish, humorous novel.  There's serious stuffs within these pages.

Monica:  I think I took it more along the lines of how he’d explain things to the kids at school.  “My name is Moose.  I live here.  At Alcatraz.  Al Capone does my shirts.  The End.”   But I definitely get where you’d coming from – the actual fun moments of this book are few and far between, with a whole lot of tears and drama packed in the rest of it.  Have… have we been hoodwinked *again* into reading a serious book, Shel?! 

SHEL: That's a good point.  And yes, we have wound up with a serious book again (I blame you).  Serious but good (I still blame you).  Although, I am very glad to finally see some nice father-son bonding here.

Monica:  It sort of makes me want to cry.  The dad has, up to this point, sort of blended into the background.  I assume it’s because that’s the way his family sees him – Nathalie is Nathalie, Mom attention is obsessively and all-encompassingly (word?) focused on Nathalie, and Moose is as self-absorbed as your average kid.  So it’s nice to see Dad step up as a real character… and a super-sympathetic one at that!

SHEL:  I'd say Moose is even less self-absorbed than the average kid.  I doubt I could have handled his situation with such...grace?  Is that the word I want?  Yeah, I'll go with that.

Monica:  Grr.  That Mrs. Kelly is getting on my last nerve.  I realize that she’s trying to help (and honestly, her suggestions seem better than most of what we heard – I’m still all freaked about the description of the time when Nathalie became permanently ten years old) but… you can’t take away her buttons!

SHEL:  I agree.  I am pro-buttons.  I also have to wonder, even if Nat gets into the school, how much help can they REALLY give her?  I mean, they dropped her after one morning of screaming.

Monica:  Pshaw.  What a defeatist attitude.  What would Mom say?!  (Answer:  She wouldn’t say anything – she is too busy tweaking out about her eldest to hear anything negative you might say about her Great Plan for Nathalie.)

Okay, cool cats, we're going to finish up this book and our discussion of this book on Saturday.  Let's all hope for a happy ending, hmmm.  See, you all then!

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