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FREE PDF Ú Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky ¾ 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 in Alabama, where he s being sent to heal from the tragedy But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie s journal Tristan chases after it is that a doll and a tug of war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature s hands, 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 that are hunting the inhabitants of this world Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American gods 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 and seal the hole in the sky But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price Can Tristan save this world before he loses of the things he loves This was fabbity fab I ave always had a soft place in my heart for John Henry, and I love the Brer Rabbit stories as well Seeing them, along with other African and African American myths and folktales, brought to life in gorgeous detail, was a delight And Tristan was pretty great, too He reminded me of Miles Morales, and I loved how he used his power I can t believe this is Mbalia s first book, because it s just.well, fab Don t get me wrong Greek myths are great But you can t swing a gorgon s head in any bookstore without hitting at least a dozen Greek myth inspired books Try finding great adventures based on Western African gods and heroes like Nyame or Anansi Try finding stories about modern kids who encounter African American folk legends like High John, John Henry and Brer Rabbit Those books are a lot harder to locate, despite that fact that millions of kids would relate to those gods and heroes even mor Don t get me wrong Greek myths are great But you can t swing a gorgon s head in any bookstore without hitting at least a dozen Greek myth inspired books Try finding great adventures based on Western African gods and heroes like Nyame or Anansi Try finding stories about modern kids who encounter African American folk legends like High John, John Henry and Brer Rabbit Those books are a lot harder to locate, despite that fact that millions of kids would relate to those gods and heroes eventhan they would to Hercules and Perseus sorry, my Greek dudes Can you imagine what it would be like if you could find a book that wove the whole brilliant, beautiful tapestry of West African and African American legend into one magical world A world that made young African American readers think, YES THIS IS MY AWESOME MYTHOLOGY THIS IS MY MAGIC WORLD TO EXPLORE, AND THESE HEROIC KIDS ARE JUST LIKE ME A book that left all readers thinking, WOW WHY DIDN T I KNOW ABOUT THESE AMAZING STORIES SOONER Kwame Mbalia has written that book You are about to discover TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY, and your world will never be the same I won t even try to describe all the incredible adventures facing Tristan Strong in this debut novel That would spoil the fun But when Tristan accidentally punches a hole through our world into the sky of the Midpass, the world of African American legends, he starts on the most epic of quests Awaiting him are malicious haints, iron monsters, bone ships, flying rafts, burning seas, talking animals, ancient gods, andBut for all its great fantasy elements, what I love most about this book is its human side Tristan is struggling with grief after the death of his best friend He has just lost his first fighting bout, disappointing his father and grandfather s hopes for him carrying on the family legacy Sentenced to a summer at the grandparents farm in rural Alabama, this Chicago city kid is struggling to figure out who he wants to be, and whether his parents and society will let him be that person Tristan is tough but tender, smart but cautious, courageous but insecure He is someone every kid will relate to, and you will immediately want to be his friend I ll tell you a secret I cried while reading this book Several times, I just got overwhelmed with happiness, thinking about what this book would have meant to many of my students back when I taught middle school I was delighted to see old friends like Brer Fox, John Henry and Gum Baby in such a fresh, modern, page turning adventure I felt grateful to Kwame Mbalia for writing this book so that new generations of young readers could grown up with Tristan Strong and get to know the rich stories of West Africa and the African Diaspora In a lifetime full of highlights, I have to say that helping to publish this book is right up there at the top I know you will enjoy TRISTAN STRONG I envy you reading this book for the first time As for Tristan s further adventures, the sky s the limit Wait, no Tristan punched a hole in the sky There ARE no limits 4.5 stars rounded up That was a debut I need a moment to wrap my mind around that, one second.Y all, Tristan Strong is a hella ambitious first novel that brings an entire world to life within its pages.I am really dang impressed Kwame Mbalia, you should be proud With the initial swooning out of the way, let s get into the review Tristan Strong is a 7th grader who has had a tough time of late After losing his best friend in a horrific bus crash, Tristan is struggling with his grief and feel 4.5 stars rounded up That was a debut I need a moment to wrap my mind around that, one second.Y all, Tristan Strong is a hella ambitious first novel that brings an entire world to life within its pages.I am really dang impressed Kwame Mbalia, you should be proud With the initial swooning out of the way, let s get into the review Tristan Strong is a 7th grader who has had a tough time of late After losing his best friend in a horrific bus crash, Tristan is struggling with his grief and feels like no one understands him.His parents decide to send him to stay with his grandparents in Alabama for a month to help with his recovery.He s not super crazy about the idea initially Nonetheless, he heads off with them to see if it will help One of the mementos he decides to bring with him is his best friend, Eddie s, journal On his first night there, the most bizarre thing happens Some sort of little doll baby thing, with a nasty attitude, steals Eddie s journal from him and takes off.Tristan gives chase It s all he has left to remember Eddie by He needs to get it back He follows the doll baby into some creepy woods, around the mysterious and legendary bottle tree As he is wrestling to retrieve the journal, he inadvertently punches a hole in the fabric of the universe, opening up a portal to another world, called MidPass.This is where things get crazy I can t even go on to describe all that happens next, you will just have to read for yourself This story is full of action, African folklore, mythology, African American history, the power of words, stories coming to life and a boy finding the hero within himself.I was so impressed with the level of Mbalia s writing So detailed, so funny, so engaging All of the things You may wonder why I decided to give this 4.5 stars versus a full 5 and it boils down to the scope I think the book was a little long for my taste I sort of feel like this story could have been broken down into two books There were moments as well, where so much was going on that I felt confused.However, with that being said, that is such a minor thing and totally personal preference This is a fantastic and important story I urge everyone to pick it up Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Book Group and Rick Riordan Presents, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review I greatly appreciate it Kwame Mbalia is a gift to the world and I can t wait to see what he comes up with next This is a solid story With solid, memorable characters, and an intriguing concept The writing, also, is solid The fact that this is a debut is astounding I completely understand why Rick Riordan picked it for publishing I would have done the same thing This story deserves to be out there, because it is notof the same The diversity and unusualness of the types of characters creatures made it exciting to my eyes, from the beginning.There is even one character that I actively thought r This is a solid story With solid, memorable characters, and an intriguing concept The writing, also, is solid The fact that this is a debut is astounding I completely understand why Rick Riordan picked it for publishing I would have done the same thing This story deserves to be out there, because it is notof the same The diversity and unusualness of the types of characters creatures made it exciting to my eyes, from the beginning.There is even one character that I actively thought reminded me of Kevin Hart Who doesn t want to listen to Kevin for the length of a book Hell yes It s a cute and funny character Eddie, the main protagonist, is interesting as well and, thankfully, he is grounding the reader He doesn t know what is happening, just like us, so we learn at the same time as he is, basically There is one thing though that I thought could have been done so much better the presentation of the world building and the many creatures inside of it Even now, I find it so hard to explain to you what the world building even looks like This is one book series that could have benefited from illustrations oh so much Some stories don t need them, and I definitely am not claiming all middle grade books require pictures, but in this case they would have helped us familiarize ourselves with the fantasy aspects much faster and easier Oh, wait Two things actually The length of this book could have been reduced, I believe 482 pages based on my advance copy is a little much, I think, for a first book that is supposed to introduce without info dumping But this is my personal taste surfacing I still really enjoyed reading this and will keep an eye out for the sequel Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin