Posted by: montclairlibrary | March 21, 2013

Alcatraz Rocks

Alcatraz photo by Andrew Dupont via Flickr

Today is the 50th anniversary of the day Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary closed, on March 21, 1963. If you’re a Bay Area resident you may not have been to Alcatraz recently, but it’s worth a visit. If you prefer to check out Alcatraz from the comfort of your own home, here are some books in the Montclair Library collection to get you started:

For kids, Gennifer Choldenko’s fiction books Al Capone Does My Shirts and Al Capone Shines My Shoes tell the story of 12-year-old Moose Flanagan, who lives on Alcatraz along with his family while his father works as a prison guard. Children of Alcatraz: Growing Up on the Rock by Claire Rudolf Murphy gives a non-fiction counterpart to the story of the families who lived on Alcatraz.

For adults, Fortress Alcatraz: Guardian of the Golden Gate by John A. Martini traces Alcatraz’s history as a fort and military prison, including lots of photos. Alcatraz, Island of Change by James P. Delgado chronicles one hundred years of the island’s history, from fort to federal penitentiary.

Elsewhere in the Oakland Public Library system, you’ll find books about famous inmates, the 1962 escape, the Native American occupation and more. Who knows, you may even be inspired to hop on a ferry and check out The Rock in person!


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