"Basing her story on the actual experience of those who supported the prison in the '30s-when Al Capone was an inmate-Choldenko's pacing is exquisite, balancing the tense family dynamics alongside the often-humorous and riveting school story of peer pressure and friendship. Fascinating setting as a metaphor for Moose's own imprisonment and enabling some hysterically funny scenes, but a great read no matter where it takes place."
"Set on Alcatraz Island in 1935, Choldenko’s exceptionally atmospheric novel has equally unusual characters and plot lines … Choldenko captures the tense, nuanced family dynamics touched off by Natalie’s disability as skillfully as she handles the mystique of Alcatraz and the exchanges between Moose and his friends. Fast-paced and memorable."
"The Flanagan family is believable … Moose makes a sympathetic main character … the story, told with skill and humor, will fascinate readers with an interest in what it was like for the children of prison guards and other workers to actually grow up on Alcatraz Island."