The Gardener of Alcatraz (A True Story)

COMING MARCH 15, 2022! A prisoner gardens his way to freedom in this inspiring picture-book biography.

When Elliott Michener was locked away in Alcatraz for counterfeiting, he was determined to defy the odds and bust out. But when he got a job tending the prison garden, a funny thing happened. Thoughts of escape were replaced with new interests and skills–and a sense of dignity and fulfillment. Elliott transformed Alcatraz Island, and the island transformed him.

Told with empathy and a storyteller’s flair, Elliott’s story is funny, touching, and unexpectedly relevant. Back matter about the history of Alcatraz and the US prison system today invites meaningful discussion.

Read about the gardens of Alcatraz here.

Learn more about inmate gardeners here.

Photo credits
Left: National Archives at San Bruno
Right: GGNRA

From Charlesbridge Publishing. March 15, 2022. Illustrations by Jenn Ely.