CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 37. . . .May 24, 2013
Natalie Hyde’s Alcatraz is a fascinating historical tour of one of the most notorious and isolated prisons on the planet, Alcatraz. The book contains the story of how Alcatraz was created, what it was like for both the prisoners and the staff to live on the island; and why the prison was called “escape-proof”. Hyde introduces the reader to some of the infamous criminals, such as Al Capone and “Machine Gun Kelly”, who stayed on the island. She also discusses the cultural references to Alcatraz in popular culture and why it remains an important cultural icon today. There is also a bibliography at the end for those who would like to read more on the topic.
Alcatraz is part of Crabtree’s series, “Crabtree Chrome”, which is designed to help reluctant and underconfident readers with their unique literacy needs as they develop the skills needed to evaluate and summarize written texts. The topics in this series are “high interest”, and the text is appropriate for struggling readers. Alcatraz is an interesting book, and I would recommend it for a school library collection. I hope Crabtree will develop some books addressing Canadian topics in this series.
Mark Mueller is the Education Librarian at Tyndale University College in Toronto, ON.
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