Garland, Michael. Two Men and a Car: Franklin Roosevelt, Al Capone, and a Cadillac V-8. Tilbury House, 2019. Unp. $17.95. ISBN 978-0-88448-620-6. Ages 7-10. P8Q8
Culture and biography from the first half of the 20th century blend in this possibly true story of how an armored car constructed by a famous mobster in 1928 was later used to protect the president of the United States on his way to give a speech the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. With biographical information about the two men, both New Yorkers, Garland shows the contrast in backgrounds between the wealthy, privileged only child who changed the U.S. with his political acumen and the poor immigrant with eight siblings who controlled the Chicago underworld. Thousands of lines cover the illustrations of the subjects and the places where each spent part of his life—13 years in the White House and eight years in Alcatraz.
Verdict: Dense scratchwork art is distracting, but the use of the story to show U.S. history during a half century is clever.
June 2019 review by Nel Ward.