Title: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in The Sky
Author: Kwame Mbalia
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents
Number of pages: 528
Type of Book: Middle Grade, African, African Folktales, African American, Mythology.
Age: 8 – 12
Price: $ 8.99
Seventh grader Tristan Strong is down in the dumps. He has just lost his best friend as well as his very first boxing match. His parents send him off to Alabama to spend a month with his grandparents to cool off. There, he literally punches a hole in the sky and falls through earth into another dimension and the adventure of a lifetime!
THUMBS UP AND DOWN
UP: The world building, the setting and the characters particularly, the folktale heroes, Anansi!!!!, the 10” tall doll baby Gum Baby, the iron monsters, the haunted bone ships and the burning sea! I loved them! It’s an adventure story with some of my favourite Ms: magic and mythology. The specificity Mbalia uses to describe the setting is out of this world! The worldbuilding was extraordinary and I feel like this book is a good mentor text for writers on the subject of setting.
DOWN: A lot of description slowed the action down. Because life is what it is, the actual highlight of the novel was also its undoing. Oh my!!! The description was just too much. I feel like I was buried under a mountain of details. I have been trying to read this book for 8 weeks but I still haven’t made it halfway. It is unbelievably putdownable, in fact, 1 of 2 things happens each time I pick it up: I come up with something more interesting to do or I fall asleep. In summary, I still haven’t finished reading it but at this point, I honestly cannot. go. on. This will be the first time I am consciously abandoning a book halfway, I am sad and I really struggled to avoid this but …
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HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK
- Read an excerpt (Chapter 1) here: https://www.readriordan.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Tristan-Strong-Hole-in-Sky_pp1-33.pdf
CHALLENGE: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in The Sky
CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)
- Write a 300-word essay on any African God.
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8 – 12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.*
Answers must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 15th 2021.
Next Book of the Week:
DADA ADE AND THE GOOD HAIR FAIRY by Vennessa Scholtz
*open to US residents only