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Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle & Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  891 Ratings  ·  166 Reviews
Muscle Man McGinty has finally done the unthinkable. He s bragged that he can beat the ENTIRE block in a game of kickball. On Ramble Street, tough talk about kickball cannot be ignored. For Tamara Ann Simpson, however, this is great news. Now she ll finally be able to prove to everyone what a wormy little liar Muscle Man really is. It s the summer of 1969, and the world is ...more
Unknown Binding, 0 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Findaway World (first published May 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,589)
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Destinee Sutton
Jul 01, 2009 Destinee Sutton rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10 and up
It's the summer of '69, but we're not talking Woodstock--we're talking kickball, Neil Armstrong, and the ice cream man. Our narrator, Tamara, has just finished the fifth grade. She's unhappy because her best friend has suddenly moved away and in her place a runty, mendacious boy nicknamed Muscle Man has moved in. Sadly, she takes her frustration out on poor Muscle Man, who smiles through all her bullying like a love-hungry puppy who doesn't know any better.

I think we're used to hearing stories
Debbie McNeil
Jun 25, 2011 Debbie McNeil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great child-accessible portrayal of the era: from Vietnam to gender roles, the hippy movement and moon landing. Add to that a great story of friendship and keeping an open mind and you've got a book that has it all!.....One harsh moment: realizing my childhood is now "historical" fiction. >sigh<
Sep 05, 2009 Staci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Staci by: Roaring Brook Press
Shelves: 2009-reads
What did you like most about this book? The time period was a favorite element in this book. I love the late 60's and the innocence that seemed to still exist. During the summer all of the neighborhood kids would get all worked when the heard the ice-cream truck coming. They would play endless games of kickball, and have special meetings to decide quarrels. I also really liked Douglas, AKA Muscle Man McGinty. He's a sweet soul who is a foster kid, but all Tamara knows is that her best friend Keb ...more
Linda Lipko
What a delightful book! While the world watches Neil Armstrong take his first step on the moon in 1969, the town of Massapequa Park grieves the loss of a young 18 year old man who will never return. When Tamara's brother's best friend Vinnie dies in the battlefield of Viet Nam, she learns to look at life differently.

A few months earlier, Douglas McGinty moved to town, residing in a home of a lovely woman who takes in foster children. Tamara's best friend was a foster child in this home, and she
So you know how everyone's buzzing about When You Reach Me? I'm going to go out on a limb here and brace myself on the inevitable tar-and-feather treatment that I'm expecting as a response to this statement.

I liked this book better.

Both books have a lot of similar features. Both books have amazingly beautiful yet efficient writing, where words are not wasted. Both are works of historical fiction (this one takes place in 1969). In both stories, the main characters learn some lessons about friends
Apr 27, 2011 Marfita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
For once you can see why a main character is so annoying. Tammy hates her new next-door neighbor because he has taken the place in foster care of what had been her best friend. Everything revolves around her hurts and needs (so what if her friend and her friend's mom have to go into hiding because of the father?), which is fairly typical for an adolescent. But her parents seem to be the same. Her mother is only involved in her soap operas and her father uses his job, which he seems to hate, as a ...more
Excellent historical fiction for middle-grade readers. Set in the summer of 1969, the story follows Tamara, whose best friend has unexpectedly moved away, only to be replaced by a boy who manages to get away with telling outrageous lies and winning everyone else's friendship. The emotional story of their unlikely friendship is a surprise. Just who is the bad guy here? Well, nobody. A fast-moving, thoughtful, and often humorous look into the friendship and family dynamics of a small-town neighbor ...more
Allison Campbell
I was fortunate to receive a copy of Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle And Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me by Nan Marino from Roaring Brook Press. This is a sweet, funny story set in upstate New York just before the moon landing, focusing on a group of neighborhood children who have their own hierarchy and rules. Tammy, the narrator, can't stand the newcomer to the neighborhood, a scrawny boy she mockingly dubs "Muscle Man." He tells outrageous lies, the most recent of which is that Neil Armstron ...more
Best first line I've read in a long while: Muscle Man McGinty is a squirrelly runt, a lying snake, and a pitiful excuse for a ten-year-old.

Lots here to like. This is the first kids' novel I can remember reading where we see everything from the point of view of an antagonistic character. Tamara is kind of a bully. Okay, she's a pretty big bully to Muscle Man. Don't know if she treats anyone else that way, but from her references to being grounded all the time and kids rolling their eyes at her ma
Someone I was discussing this book with remarked that it perfectly captured the voice of a 10-year-old girl, and I think that's its best and most noticeable quality. This novel captures the summer in 1969 when 10-year-old Tamara is devastated by the loss of her best friend and decides to take some of her grief out on the new foster kid who's taken moved into the old friend's home, who she's nicknamed Muscle Man McGinty. With the sense of justice of a 10-year-old, Tammy is always hoping others in ...more
Brenda Kahn
I enjoyed this yarn well enough - interesting unreliable narrator with no insight into her bullying ways, rich neighborhood setting in a time where kids were kicked out of the house in the mornings and roamed the neighborhoods until dinnertime, where the Mr. Softee truck was welcomed. The narrator sounded appropriately young but the breathiness of the performance distracted me.
May 13, 2009 Colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, childrens
What an excellent offering for young adults! This slim book should be an easy read for the 8-12 crowd, and offers some important life lessons about loss and dreams and rushing to judgment. In this first person account, Tamara speaks with a clear and wonderful voice that really captures the petulant anger and confusion of a young girl whose best friend moved away without advance notice or a forwarding address. I enjoyed this novel and recommend teachers consider it for possible inclusion in a sch ...more
Narrated by Emily Bauer. As the world is on the verge of seeing men land on the moon, Tamara is enjoying summer kickball games on Ramble Street with the other kids...everyone that is except a new boy she's dubbed Muscle Man McGinty. She's fed up with his tall tales (see the book's title) and wants to prove him for the liar he is. When he willingly takes on all the kids in a kickball game, Tamara knows this is the big opportunity for him to finally admit he's a loser. Actually, more life-experien ...more
Dec 09, 2014 Margaux rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Besides having a fabulous cover, this book is truly amazing. Hidden in these 154 pages is the story of Tamara, a girl from a world where playing outside is the pinnacle of summer fun, the ice cream truck marks the start and finish of your freedom, and Neil Armstrong is about to land on the moon for the first time. In the summer of 1969, Muscle Man McGinty has just moved in. Kebsie, Tammy's best friend, used to live with McGinty's foster mother, but now he does.

Muscle Man is a liar, and this dri
May 10, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all I will say this edition of the book has a pretty misleading cover. I found it to be quite a turn-off, as it made me think the story was just going to be a goofy, mindless story for little kids. (Happy to see a different edition with a different cover is available.) Anyway, the story itself turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise! It took me about a third of the book to really get into it. But, once it's heart started to reveal itself, my feelings changed rapidly. It's actually a ...more
Feb 07, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Slight, but nice book about the summer of 1969. Set in New York, the main character, Tammy, is a hard-headed, lonely girl. She's still recovering from the loss of her best friend and is resentful of Douglas, aka Muscle Man McGinty, the boy who is being fostered down the street.

The moonwalk factors throughout the book; I liked the narrative cohesion of that element. Nan Marino keeps the scope of the book small, but it feels historically authentic.

We spend so little time with the characters that
During the blazing summer of 1960 Tamara is living in her little long island town, when Muscle man Mcginty moves in.
To her he is a "lying pitiful deceiving snake," she is very, very annoyed with him. His big lies make your stomach clench into a knot, and you grind your teeth!
Everyone loves him, except Tamara. And just because of him she gets in tons of trouble, and even though she does nothing his lies still get her in trouble. But the moon landing brings them together, and you'll have to read
Jan 14, 2014 Faith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Mrs. Kerns,

I have read a book called, "Neil Armstrong is my uncle" by Nan Marino. This book is about Muscle Man McGinty, who is the so called "toughest kid in town". Muscle Man is always lying to people about Neil Armstrong being his uncle. He never can prove that a famous person is not a part of his family. Muscle Man wants to prove that he is good at everything, so what he does is he challenges the whole block to a game of kickball. A girl named Tamara, finally realizes that Muscle Man
Tamara is upset after her best friend moves away with no forwarding address and no good-bye. She is even more upset that her friend's room is replaced by the biggest liar she has ever heard. Tamara learns in the end you can't judge a person by the lies they tell and that there may be more to the story than she knows.

I found Tamara to be extremely bratty but when all your mother does is smoke cigarettes and watches soap operas and your father simply complains about everything, what can you expect
Stephanie Hodkinson
It's summertime, 1969, and the kids on Ramble Street are looking forward to ice cream and kickball. But nothing is right for Tamara, whose life was upended a month ago when her best friend Kebsie abruptly disappeared and was replaced with a new foster child, Muscle Man McGinty. Tammy can see only Muscle Man's constant boasting and annoying friendliness, and she makes it her goal to expose him to the others. But nothing is ever just what seems to be, is it? Excellent slice of life from a differen ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Actual rating: 3.75

I enjoyed this book & I found Tamara very endearing (I could very much relate to her too). It was simple yet sweet and even if this childhood is somewhat foreign to mine, I could understand her feelings clearly and sense that she really was just a 10 year old girl slowly growing up.

I think this book gave a nice idea of how life probably was in the seventies, and I like that it included key events like the Vietnam War & ths first man walking on the moon.

I had a great ti
Aug 27, 2014 Eli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I don't know how this book will go over with other readers of this story.

The themes in this story doesn't just encompass Woodstock, but rather much more and much less serious than that. NEIL talks about everything from landing on the moon to gender roles to best friends leaving to death. There are many good things in this story, but I think the most debated issue about this book is the fact that the main character is a bully without even realizing it.

Tamara is upset that Muscle Man
Jan 27, 2010 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while—how far apart is impossible to predict—a character in a novel will come who is unique, and special, and somehow digs deep into a person's heart and mind to make a permanent home there. This is the case with Muscle Man McGinty. I can't really even put my finger on why I found him to be so endearing; it's one of those visceral things that just is, that one doesn't question, because its reality is so certain.

In my view, this entire book flows from the character of Muscle Man
Teresa Garrett
From the title I expected a story about an older person: Muscle Man McGinty - I expected a grown up not a scrawny, scrapping 10 year old. The story is told from the point of view of Tamara who lives on Ramble street in a small town in New York. Tamara's friends from the neighborhood have formed a kickball club complete with their own governing committee. Tamara's family is eccentric to say the least and they always seem to be on the outside looking in at neighbors parties and other events. Tamar ...more
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Tamara Simpson is having a rough summer. Her best friend, Kebsie, was a foster child living with the woman across the street and she’s moved back in with her mother. A new boy, Douglas, has moved in – Tamara calls him Muscle Man because he’s so scrawny. Tamara resents Muscle Man because he’s taken Kebsie’s place and he tells lies that no one else seems to notice. Among other things, he claims to be training for the Olympic swimming team and says that Neil Armstrong is his uncle. When he challeng ...more
Jun 19, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2012 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After finishing this, I read a review talking about how refreshing it was to read a story as told from the perspective of a bully.

I think we read different books.

While I suppose the bully angle sort of makes sense, it doesn’t work for me. To me, Tamara (the narrator) was a bratty loner no one likes (or really pays attention to) rather than a bully. Bullies command attention. Bullies invoke fear. Bullies are not mocked by all of the neighborhood kids and treated as a joke. Anyway, the plot: Tamar
When I read the synopsis of this book I wasn't really sure what I was getting into, and I found myself pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the fact that this book is historical fiction from the 1960's and combats issues of things happening during that time period but also with issues that kids, no matter the time face. The 10 year old Tammy who is telling us the story gives us life from her quirky perspective and with all of her childish reasoning you have no reason to doubt her. The book took on is ...more
It's the summer of 1969, and Tamara Simpson is missing her BF and confidant, Kebsie who up and moved away. She was living in foster care with Mrs. Kutchner, Tamara's neighbor, until a few days ago. Who moved in, but Muscle Man McGinty, who stretches the truth and tells whoppers every chance he Neil Armstrong is his uncle, like he sang on broadway, like he can beat the whole kickball team single-handedly. Yet, he is a schmoozer and usually gets his way and has the whole neighborhood l ...more
Jul 24, 2009 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whisper "historical fiction" in a kid's ear and you may see them blanch and cringe at the thought. Ugh. History. And history in fiction? For many a kid it conjures up thoughts of dry, required reading. Titles that are supposed to teach and inform even as they "entertain" (read: bore). Kids with a penchant for historical fiction know that there's a wide swath of titles out there to enjoy, but too often it's the dull ones that end up on the Summer Reading lists. Books of historical fiction that ar ...more
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