"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 on Ramble Street knows it but me."
In Nan Marino's first novel, Neil Armstrong is My Uncle & Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me, ten year-old Tamara Ann Simpson is a "seventy-nine pound girl with one hundred pounds of emptiness." Her best friend Kebsie, a foster child who lived across the street, has moved away. One day Kebsie was howling at the moon with Tamara by her side on the garage roof, and the next day she was gone.
Tamara takes out her anger at the new kid who moves into the foster home that Kebsie has left. Muscle Man McGinty gets under Tamara's skin with just about everything he says and does. And when Muscle Man brags that he can beat the ENTIRE block in a kickball game, Tamara thinks she finally has Muscle Man right where she wants him.
"It's the summer of 1969, and the world is getting ready to watch a man named Neil Armstrong make history by taking the first step on the moon. But change happens a bit more slowly on Ramble Street, and it'll take one giant leap for Tamara to understand the likes of Muscle Man McGinty."
I am putting this book on my "Don't Miss" list...books that I tell my sixth graders to be sure not to miss reading before they venture into seventh grade and the wild universe beyond...books that if they don't pick up and read this year that they might miss altogether. And that would be very sad indeed.
I know you won't be disappointed in reading this book. It's an emotional story told from a bully's point of view. There are many layers to this book...Tamara...her dysfunctional family...Muscle Man McGinty...his secret...the Vietnam War...the first man on the moon...READ IT! READ IT! READ IT!
Mrs. T :)
P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!