Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gangsters, Robbers, Embezzlers, Oh My!

From convicts to baseball to autism, our Great Reads for Girls discussion of Al Capone Does My Shirts had it all and more.

Taylor talked about the author.

Gennifer Choldenko was the youngest in her family and had to endure the nicknames of Snot-Nose, Short Stuff, and Shrimp.

Happily, for us, Choldenko grew up to write delightful books for children.

For those who liked Al Capone Does My Shirts the adventure continues in the sequel, Al Capone Shines My Shoes.
The title and publication date of the third in the series has not been released yet.

However, Choldenko has a new children's book which will be released in February 2011.

No Passengers Beyond This Point is a departure from her previous books. It's a "story of adventure and survival, set in a fantastical place with rules all its own." Three siblings fly to their uncle's home in Colorado but when they get there no one's heard of their uncle. "Like Dorothy in Oz, they find themselves in a place they’ve never heard of, with no idea of how to get home, and time is running out."

Tammra told us about Alcatraz Island.

She has been on a tour of the island and showed us lots of pictures.

A prison cell

The prison library

Apartments where the prison guards lived with their families

Children growing up on Alcatraz Island

Children of Alcatraz playing on a deserted cannon

Al Capone, Alcatraz's most famous prisoner

Yara led the discussion.
We talked about how it must've been for Moose to grow up with an autistic sister. One mom shared how difficult it was for her to grow up with a special needs brother. When one family member requires so much attention it's easy for others to feel neglected.

We made yo-yo barrettes and decorated them with buttons. We chose this craft because Natalie, Moose's sister loved to play with buttons.

The moms and their daughters went to work on the yo-yos.

We had lemon cake for dessert because that's what Natalie wanted every morning for breakfast.

And we had Ghiradelli chocolate because when you're in San Francisco you can go to Pier 33 and board a ferry for Alcatraz or you can turn the other direction and and go to Ghiradelli Square.

Our beautiful girls (and moms) showed off their creations:

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