Tristan Strong Punches A Hole in the Sky

Tristan Strong Punches A Hole in the Sky

Book - 2019
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Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he's going to spend on his grandparents' farm. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up and steals Eddie's notebook. Tristan chases after it, and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to get it away from the creature, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?
Publisher: Los Angeles ; New York : Disney-Hyperion, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781368039932
Branch Call Number: FICTION MBALIA
Characteristics: 482 pages : map ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

List - Dia 2021 Grades 6-8
SAPL_EarlyLit Apr 12, 2021

An epic fantasy story of that centers African American characters and tradition.

RandomLibrarian Jun 13, 2020

This book is great for fans of Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson" series - it's promoted under Riordan's "Presents" line. The main character is a Black boy and the mythology is based upon aspects of West African and African American culture and beliefs.

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Feb 11, 2021

Tristan Strong Punches A Hole in the Sky is a classic mythology book written by Kwame Mbalia. Tristan has been facing tough times recently with the guilt of not being strong enough to save his friend, Eddie, in the bus accident. When he is sent to spend time on his grandparent's farm, he discovers a sticky creature that is trying to steal his only memories left of Eddi, his journal. Tristan, trying to get it away, accidentally punches a hole in the tree, landing him in a place with iron monsters, burning seas, and haunted bone ships. There, he finds out he is in the middle of a war and has to help the exhausted American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit to entice the God Anansi, the weaver, to come out of hiding. This book is full of action and adventure and keeps you interested. Also, it has a nice twist with African mythology, and it's really different from most books. I would recommend it to anyone above 12 as it is a fantastic book to read.

Jan 27, 2021

Tristan strong is an inspiring, interesting, and adventurous book. I really loved it and enjoyed it. I can't wait to read " Tristan strong destroy the world".

Jan 27, 2021

Tristan Strong is mourning the death of his best friend Eddie so his parents are sending him to visit his grandparents in Alabama for a few weeks. He wakes on his first night there to find that a sticky living doll, who calls herself Gum Baby, is stealing Eddie’s writing journal. Tristan tries to catch her and retrieve the stories but instead he accidentally punches a hole in the sky of a mythical land peopled by figures from African-American folktales and mythology.

What fun!

If you look closely at the cover, you’ll notice that it says “Rick Riordan Presents.” Riordan has a small imprint at Disney that he’s using to publish stories similar to his own works but about mythologies that he’s less familiar with. I understand this to mean that he’s promoting more of an #ownvoices version of modern mythology. I applaud him for using his success to promote others!

That said, the humor and adventure in Tristan Strong are sure to appeal to readers who enjoy Percy Jackson and all of Riordan’s other books. My inner 12-year-old giggled a lot.

I was surprised by the traces of darkness in these pages though. The first thing I noticed was Eddie’s death. So many kids do struggle with losing friends their age, it has to be good for them to read about characters who are also dealing with grief. This world’s monsters broke my heart but they might not be as noticeable to younger readers. Viewed through the lens of slavery, brand flies that rob you of your will, fetterlings (and the bigger bosslings) that chain you, and hullbeasts that trap branded and bound people and spread death and disease are terrifying and so much more than they appear to be on the surface. Well done, Mr. Mbalia.

I will never claim to know much about African mythology or African-American legends, but even I recognized a lot of these characters. Anansi, Brer Rabbit, John Henry, and more make larger-than-life appearances here.

Amir Abdullah’s narration was fabulous.

For humor, adventure, and an introduction to mythologies that are under-represented, I highly recommend this. It’s a fun story with a lot of heart.

RandomLibrarian Jun 13, 2020

This book is great for fans of Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson" series - it's promoted under Riordan's "Presents" line. The main character is a Black boy and the mythology is based upon aspects of West African and African American culture and beliefs.

CCPL_Teens Apr 09, 2020

Action, adventure, humor, mythology, a hero's quest, and an absolutely hilarious sidekick! Featuring characters from African American folklore and African mythology, this fantasy series-opener is not-to-be-missed for Rick Riordan fans and even better as an audiobook narrated by Amir Abdullah who delivers an unforgettable performance of Gum Baby. SAP ATTACK!

JCLTamiT Mar 21, 2020

Nerdy kid gets caught up in a world of myths and folklore centered around stories and storytellers -- I had to read this book! Though I only had a little knowledge of the African and African-American folktales and mythology in the book, the action-packed story kept me turning the pages and wanting to explore the land of Alke. Gum Baby was fantastically annoying, and in the end, completely endearing. I would definitely read this again (maybe after brushing up on the legendary characters), and look forward to future books in the series. Recommended for fans of Rick Riordan books and lovers of middle grade fantasy.

Jan 25, 2020

Sounds wonderful. I’ve placed a hold!

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jan 21, 2020

Fans of reading lengthy action sequences will rate this book higher than I did. What I loved about this one: the way in which the power of story was used in the magic...and the way that the West African and African American folk tales were interwoven.

Jan 16, 2020

Are we no longer getting audiobooks


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Oct 07, 2020

"What's Gum Baby doing here? Being insulted. How dare you leave on a mission without Gum Baby! That's like leaving the sand out of a sandwich. Or toes out of tomatoes. Or-" - Gum Baby


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