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"Choldenko consistently excels at penning pitch-perfect dialogue and balancing a large cast of original characters, and this title is no exception....A satisfying finale to what has become a cornerstone series in contemporary children's literature."
". . .baseballs, bottle caps, and carrier-cockroaches, [Moose] and the other island kids take on gambling debts, missing knives, a murder plot, a counterfeit ring, even pixie secrets . . . . Especially noteworthy is the author's sensitive ability to humanize heroes and villains alike, grounding the tense action in palpable reality. With rich characterization, tender drama, and sleuth-worthy clues, this poignant mystery makes for a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to the landmark historical trilogy."
-Booklist (starred review)
Choldenko's multifaceted novel offers something for everyone-history, mystery, intrigue, and humor. Ultimately, though, it's this extremely likable boy working through friendships and crushes, on the one hand, and wrestling with family and community problems, on the other, that has held our attention through three books.
"Choldenko is unsurpassed at interweaving plot with historical detail, drawing a touching parallel between Natalie and first-term President Franklin Roosevelt. . . .While the book ably stands alone, it delivers a satisfying conclusion to readers who've grown fond of this cast of characters."
-School Library Journal
"Choldenko continues to infuse the Alcatraz community with warmth and originality. . .Despite being 'the roughest hard-time prison in America,' by the end of this winning series, it's also a place Moose comes to proudly call home."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Choldenko's storytelling is compelling, portraying human decency as a force more powerful than heroism."