- File Size: 15300 KB
- Print Length: 496 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1368039936
- Publisher: Disney Hyperion (October 15, 2019)
- Publication Date: October 15, 2019
- Sold by: Disney Book Group
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07R1N9V9Q
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,807 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$17.99|
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Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong Novel, A Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 8 - 12||Grade Level: 3 - 7|
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About the Author
Mbalia's African American and West African gods (with villains tied to U.S. chattel slavery and the Middle Passage specifically) touch on the tensions between the cultures, a cultural nuance oft overlooked. Readers who want more than just a taste of Alke will be eager for future books.―Kirkus
Mbalia's epic debut centers African American characters and tradition, featuring a pantheon of legends and a plot worthy of such tricksters as Brer Rabbit and Anansi the Weaver. Perfectly paced, this cinematic adventure never drags, anchored by Tristan's conversational narration and balanced by his struggle to cope with a friend's passing. It brims with heart, humor, and action, successfully crafting a beautifully unified secondary world that brings the power of stories to glorious life.―Booklist
Part of the "Rick Riordan Presents" series, this debut novel offers a richly realized world, a conversational, breezy style, and a satisfying conclusion that leaves room for sequels.―SLJ
This epic tale is worthy of the endorsement of Rick Riordan, who wrote the preface in this novel. A guaranteed edge-of-your-seat read aloud for upper elementary and middle school fans of tall tales, mythology, and folkloric literary adventures.―SLC
Overall a stellar mix of the playful and the serious, the traditional and the original, this novel marks the emergence of a strong new voice in myth-based children's fantasy.―BCCB --This text refers to the paperback edition.
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Dear Mr. Mbalia-
I'm a Black mother to two brilliant Black children--one girl (10) and one boy (7). As an avid reader myself, and a believer that reading and education can change a child's whole world, I've worked hard to encourage a love of reading in my children. I've been mostly successful, both of my kids enjoy books. However, as they've grown older I worry more and more about exposing them to books that "see them" and "speak to" them. This has been especially hard for my son. It just seems that there are wildly too few books for little Black boys... books with a sense of adventure and with an inherent recognition of the beauty and joy of being a Black boy. As I write this, my seven year old son (for whom I specifically bought this book) is completely engrossed in the book. He can't put it down and (for the first time) insists on reading it on his own (he usually relies on a grown-up to read a chapter book to him). Alas, amongst the most joyful moments in life is watching a child develop a love for reading, and that's what your book has done for my son. So this now teary-eyed Black mother thanks you.
Tristan Strong does NOT disappoint.
I’m not really a fantasy/folktale kind of person, but I should really stop saying that because I loved this book and it’s both of those, and more. It’s clever and heartfelt and unlike anything else I’ve read. If you loved Black Panther, though, I can almost guarantee you’ll love Tristan.
Buy a copy for yourself and at least one more for a kid, a classroom, a little free library, or a school library near you. It’s the kind of book you finish and want everyone around you to read it immediately so you can gush over it with them.
Tristan Strong Punches A Hole in the Sky is a masterful mid-grade story about a relatable kid struggling with grief who happens to enjoy punching things. And who doesn’t? It’s got a black pantheon of gods, a vast new world, and action that just won’t quit.
I actually have absolutely no negatives about this book? Despite it being kind of long for middle grade, it was over before I even knew it. My only regret is having to wait for the sequel, because October is soooo far away.
- Tristan’s voice is just so natural and funny that it grabbed me right away. Tristan is a cross between relatable character and snarkmaster, which made him funny without being one-dimensional. And boy did I laugh—so freaking hard—throughout this book. The book is written as if Tristan Strong is telling the reader a story—his story—and there are plenty of moments where Tristan speaks directly to the reader. The voice felt very natural, and the story was almost like sitting around a campfire and having someone tell you how they spent their year. Except … more exciting.
- This book has Gum Baby, and she is … erm … well … a force that you just have to read to truly appreciate, I think. Gum Baby is all sass in a very small, sticky frame. From the minute she graced the page, I knew I was going to love her. In fact, all the side characters in this are inexplicably lovable, even the rude, sarcastic, and potentially villainous ones. I don’t want to talk about too many of the side characters, because discovering the pantheon for yourself is part of the journey.
- There’s the whole world of Midpass to explore in this book, and it’s as wondrous as it is terrifying, and I never wanted to leave. I loved the journey through this world and all the new locations and creatures and people that are discovered. It’s giant and vast, and obviously, there’s more bits of it to be uncovered in the subsequent books, and I’m so ready for it.
- There’s a whole pantheon of black gods, legends that have come to life, and this was such a refreshing take on mythology. The pantheon in this book is a mixture of Akan gods (like Anansi the storyteller and Nyame, the sky god) and African American folk legends (like John Henry and Brer Rabbit). It was so exciting and nostalgic to get to read about the heroes from the stories I heard or read as a child. I just grew more and more excited as the book went on and I recognized more and more things I was familiar with. And if you’ve never heard of these things, regardless of your age? It’s a nice introduction into a rich culture of lore.
- Once the action gets going, it just doesn’t stop. Take a deep breath, because you’re going to need it. These waters are turbulent. If at any moment you think it’s going to be smooth sailing, ha, just turn the page. By the time Tristan hits Midspass, it’s just non-stop action. It doesn’t feel rushed, though. It’s just enough to grab your attention and pull you along as these kids face danger and mayhem and do their best to save the world. There were so many little twists and turns in this, and some of them I guessed pretty early on, but that didn’t impact my enjoyment of it. I did like that, for the most part, you have no idea what’s coming, so just like Tristan, you sort of just have to be willing to sit back and go with the flow.
- Tristan is a really easy character for anyone to relate to, at any age, and his story will likely win over just about any reader. What first got me about Tristan, other than his humor and voice, was the fact that he’s a young kid tackling some pretty big grief. Not only did he lose his best friend, but he’s suffering survivor’s guilt, weighed down by the belief that he could’ve saved him. This whole situation was such a gut-punch of emotion, and it got me every time. The most poignant part of this story, to me, was the way Tristan works through his grief, and it would be a perfect read for any middle grade reader doing the same (especially since the grief isn’t the focus of the story, so you can get a little bonus learning smack dab in the middle of an adventure of mythological proportions). Tristan Strong is also a rather delightful reluctant hero. He’s not a fighter, and he doesn’t consider himself particularly brave or willing to rush into danger. His reactions to each scenario felt so realistic. Reluctant heroes are my favorite, because they feel more realistic to me.