The Children of Alcatraz (Hardcover)

Growing Up on the Rock

By Claire Rudolf Murphy, Claire Rudolph Murphy

Walker Childrens, 9780802795779, 64pp.

Publication Date: September 19, 2006

Other Editions of This Title:
Library Binding (9/19/2006)

List Price: 17.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Alcatraz Island is one of the most infamous places in American history. The maximum-security prison on the "Rock," once home to criminals like Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, and the Birdman of Alcatraz, has long since captured our country's imagination. But what few people realize is that during the past 200 years, Alcatraz was not only home to criminals it was home to many children, too Over the years, the island has been home to the children of Native Americans, lighthouse keepers, military soldiers, and prison guards.
Imagine playing hide-and-seek in the prison morgue, having a convict as your babysitter, or having Al Capone as your neighbor. This compelling photo-essay profiles generations of children who had the unique opportunity of growing up on this isolated island in San Francisco's shadow. With personal anecdotes, revealing interviews with the surviving Alcatraz Kids, historical documents, and archival and family photographs, "Children of Alcatraz "reveals a one-of-a-kind childhood sure to fascinate readers young and old.

About the Author

Claire Rudolf Murphy has been a history buff since she was in grade school and loves to write history through the eyes of children and outsiders. She has written fourteen books for young readers, including Walker & Company's I Am Sacajawea, I am York: Our Journey West with Lewis and Clark. Claire was inspired to write this book after a visit to Alcatraz, where she learned that children had lived on the island. She became fascinated by the idea that miserable prisoners and happy kids could live parallel lives on one tiny island. Claire lives in Spokane, Washington, with her husband and two sons. You can visit her Web site at