Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
by Mbalia, Kwame







Introductionix
1 The Car Ride
1(14)
2 The Bottle Trees
15(9)
3 Gum Baby
24(10)
4 Fight in the Forest
34(8)
5 Haints and Bone Ships
42(13)
6 The Raft
55(11)
7 Iron Monsters 101
66(11)
8 Fetterlings
77(9)
9 The Paper Giant
86(5)
10 The Thicket
91(15)
11 The Gods of MidPass
106(12)
12 The Butterfly Whisperer
118(8)
13 Anansesem
126(5)
14 Growing Desperate
131(10)
15 Fuel for the Gods
141(7)
16 The Warren
148(5)
17 The Worst Plan Ever
153(9)
18 The Adinkra
162(10)
19 Attack!
172(9)
20 The Bossling
181(7)
21 Brand Flies
188(7)
22 Legend of the Bottle Rocket
195(12)
23 The Golden Crescent
207(10)
24 Nyame's Palace
217(8)
25 That Was No Statue
225(8)
26 Bronzey to the Rescue
233(9)
27 Nyame's Charm
242(7)
28 Anansi's Lair
249(10)
29 Rock Lasers
259(9)
30 Into Isihlangu
268(9)
31 The Elders
277(12)
32 Spirit of the Imbongi
289(9)
33 Abiyoyo
298(11)
34 High John
309(10)
35 A Different Perspective
319(8)
36 The Man of Fire and Smoke
327(6)
37 Missing Memories
333(8)
38 The Story Box
341(10)
39 Unwelcome Visitors
351(10)
40 Hullbeasts and Brand Flies
361(8)
41 The Magic Ax
369(4)
42 Hoodoo and Confessions
373(10)
43 The Mmoatia Forest
383(8)
44 We're All Broken-Story Box, Too
391(13)
45 Flight of the Midfolk
404(13)
46 A Dangerous Bargain
417(12)
47 King Cotton
429(14)
48 Last Stop
443(8)
49 Tricking the Trickster
451(9)
50 Reveal
460(13)
51 Good-byes and New Lives
473


Haunted by the bus accident that ended his best friend's life, seventh grader Tristan Strong dreads a visit to his grandparents' Alabama farm before a bizarre living doll snatches away his friend's notebook and draws him into a world of burning seas, iron monsters and exhausted black folk heroes. 75,000 first printing.





Kwame Mbalia is the New York Times best-selling author of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, for which he received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor award. The book was also named to best-of-the-year lists compiled by Publishers Weekly, the Chicago Public Library, and the New York Times. The second book in the trilogy is Tristan Strong Destroys the World. Kwame lives with his wife and children in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he is currently working on the third book about Tristan. Follow him on Twitter @KSekouM.





*Starred Review* After losing his debut boxing match, two weeks following his best friend Eddie's death, Tristan Strong is sent to his grandparents' Alabama farm. He grew up on his nana's stories-Black American folklore and African myths-which Eddie had been collecting in writing. This journal is all Tristan has left of his friend, so when one of those myths, the hilariously volatile Gum Baby, shows up to steal it, Tristan gives chase. In the struggle, he punches a Bottle Tree, inadvertently unleashing an evil spirit and tearing a hole into a parallel universe. The world he falls into is an amalgam of Nana's stories, and as Tristan lands in the middle of a conflict between gods, heroes, and ruthless iron monsters-snapping, serpentine manacles-he must reclaim Eddie's journal and return home, but not before discovering his own power and fixing the damage he caused. 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. Grades 4-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





*Starred Review* After losing his debut boxing match, two weeks following his best friend Eddie's death, Tristan Strong is sent to his grandparents' Alabama farm. He grew up on his nana's stories-Black American folklore and African myths-which Eddie had been collecting in writing. This journal is all Tristan has left of his friend, so when one of those myths, the hilariously volatile Gum Baby, shows up to steal it, Tristan gives chase. In the struggle, he punches a Bottle Tree, inadvertently unleashing an evil spirit and tearing a hole into a parallel universe. The world he falls into is an amalgam of Nana's stories, and as Tristan lands in the middle of a conflict between gods, heroes, and ruthless iron monsters-snapping, serpentine manacles-he must reclaim Eddie's journal and return home, but not before discovering his own power and fixing the damage he caused. 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. Grades 4-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





Chicago seventh grader Tristan Strong travels to Alke, where African American folk characters are gods. Tristan has just lost his first boxing match. It's unsurprising, given he's mourning the death of his best friend, Eddie, and struggling with accompanying survivor guilt, but unacceptable for someone from a boxing family. On the ride to summer exile with his grandparents in the Alabama countryside, Tristan begins reading Eddie's story journal. Somehow, the journal allows Tristan to see folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit sending an unseen someone off on a mission. That night, Gum Baby (a hoot and a half—easily the funniest character in the book), from the Anansi story, steals Eddie's journal. Needless to say, things go awry: A hole is ripped in the sky of Alke, and Tristan (but not only Tristan) falls in. The people of Alke are suffering, but grieving, reluctant hero Tristan's unwilling to jump right in to help those in need, even when it becomes clear that he's partly responsible, making him both imperfect and realistic. Mbalia's African American and West African go ds (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. Most human characters, like Tristan, are black with brown skin. A worthy addition to the diverse array of offerings from Rick Riordan Presents. (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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