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

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

by Nan Marino
4.5 17

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Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me by Nan Marino

A tender story about a tough-as-nails girl forced to take one small step towards understanding during the summer of 1969.

"Muscle Man McGinty is a squirrelly runt, a lying snake, and a pitiful excuse for a ten-year old......the problem is that no one knows it but me. In the entire town of Massapequa Park, only I can see him for what he really is. A phony."

Tamara Ann Simpson is determined to expose Muscle Man McGinty, a foster boy new to her neighborhood, for the liar that she knows he is. Muscle Man tells the other kids his uncle is Neil Armstrong and he even has the audacity to challenge the entire block to a kickball game. So, why is Tamara the only one who can see through this kid?

It's the summer of 1969 and things are changing in Tamara's little town of Massapequa, Long Island, and in the world. Perhaps Tamara can take one small step towards a bit of compassion and understanding.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466803114
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: 05/12/2009
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
File size: 221 KB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

I grew up in a suburb on Long Island, New York. Even though it was only a short train ride away from New York City, during the 1960's/70's, Massapequa Park had the feeling of a small town. People knew their neighbors. They shared recipes, cups of coffee and stories.

Summers were filled with kickball games and backyard barbeques. Each year brought something special. One year my older sister got a job driving an ice cream truck. Sometimes she took me on her route and let me be the official bell ringer. I was paid handsomely in swirly cones. That summer of endless ice creams was also the year of the first moonwalk. On a night in July we all crowded round the black and white television to watch Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take those first steps.

Massapequa Park was a fine place to grow up, but I was always looking for a way out. I was a daydreamer. And I wanted what I had in my dreams. I spent a great part of my childhood searching for secret passages and magical places.

My quest was endless. My friends and I combed through the woods near our house. We built a secret tunnel in the yard. We found a crawl space behind the back closet and inched around the rafters, while my unsuspecting parents drank tea in the kitchen below. I climbed the highest trees and spent way too much time on the top of garage roofs.

The only secret passages I found came through reading. I wandered through Prince Edward Islands in Anne of Green Gables. I danced with the Fossil girls in Ballet Shoes and solved mysteries with Nancy Drew. I read anything I could get my hands on. Fortunately I got my hands on some pretty incredible books.

Like any good daydreamer, there were a lot of things I wanted to do when I grew up. Actress. Journalist. Diplomat. Writer. Lawyer. Chef. Architect. Somehow, I ended up in library school.

It was so quiet in the technology lab where I worked as a graduate student that I could hear the lectures from the children's literature class in the next room through the air vents. Even though I was planning on becoming an adult services librarian, I listened, especially when they talked about books I'd read. One day, I found a bunch of books from that class on a table in the library. I picked up the skinniest book in the pile, Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. By the end of the first sentence, I was hooked. After that, I've never stopped reading middle grade books.

Eventually I started to write my own stories. Instead of magical places and secret passages, I wrote about, of all things, Massapequa. Only after I grew up and moved away, did I decide that Massapequa in the 60s/70s had a unique and dare I say magical quality of its own. In my first novel Neil Armstrong is My Uncle And Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me, I mixed in details of my own childhood. Kickball games. The neighbor who sang at barbeques. Hiding out on garage roofs. Watching the first moon walk. Even names of family members found their way into the story.

I love writing. It's the perfect occupation for daydreamers. You can stare out the window. You can imagine. And you can share your dreams.

Nan Marino has Masters degrees in library science and in education. She lives with her husband and a very large dog in New Jersey, where she writes and works as a librarian.

Nan Marino is the author of Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle&Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me, which received a SCBWI Golden Kite Honor and was featured on the Bank Street Best Books and the New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.  Nan is also a librarian who lives with her husband and a large dog in a town that borders the Pinelands of New Jersey.

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Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
AuthorMichaelJSullivan More than 1 year ago
I happened to listen to the audio version while my daughter read the book. Nan Marino is a terrific writer and is a great storyteller. She paints a vivid picture of 1960s Long Island, a time where innocence is lost due to the Vietnam War. Marino allows us inside the mind of the main character, a bully, so effectively. While trying to understand why no one on her block sees "Muscle Man McGinty" for what he is, a lying snake, she battles her own emotional shortcomings. I recommend this book to families to read together and understand why bullies may act the way they do. While I do not sympathize totally with any bully, there are reasons, as so accurately pointed out by this brilliant book, for their hehavior. It's the first book I've read from a perspective of a young, female bully. And Ms. Marino hit a home run.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend Katie told me her dads cousin was Neil Armstrong...
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like it. Sunshine State Young Readers Award( SSYRA) the year
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this is a great book for kids It can be funnie or sad at the same time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! All of the characters' personalities fit them perfectly. Our teacher read this to our fourth grade class. We all loved it! P.S. If you liked this book I highly suggest The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School it was so funny
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Ok book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i have something to say mt teacher is a very nice person she blows me away with her ideas she is a great and lovely teacher and a huge football fan but sometimes she can get mad but she will always be my number one teacher inthe world i feel very lucky to have her and god bless that her and her family will live a safe happy life and also she is so inspiring to me and she teaches us a lot of stuff the fun way not the boring so i feel blessed to have her as a theacher i hope evryone can read about my beautiful fun and rad teacher before i end i want to say some other things sbout her like her outragous personalty to her smile and her giving heart so i adore her wonfurl personalty she always make boring things fun and if your down in the blues she'll make you feel better in a jiffy and i love how she is so giving like she does a classroom store every month and she always keeps promises like if you tell her you were not their for the classroom store she would promise you that you could mske it up another day she always tells us stories about her childhood and about her weekend and she always talks about football she alsodoes funny things with spelling words it is so funny this teacher is ms conroy and she teaches at seagate elmentry school and please give her a special award please
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