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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia's epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly-imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.

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 notebook. 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 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 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 more of the things he loves?

©2019 Kwame Mbalia (P)2019 Listening Library

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What listeners say about Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

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Enjoyed by all!

I originally read this to my 6 yr old (he's very advanced). He loved it especially when it came to Gum Baby's parts! After hearing Amir's version, however, my Gum Baby has nothing on his! Lol. Each night we listened--one by one--my teenage sons and even my husband began to get sucked in to this fascinating story. It's so culturally rich; it's so multifaceted, yet it comes together so seamlessly. I'm definitely going to get the next book (and the next). Although I am a bit leery about reading aloud now. Lol. Well done Mr. Mbalia and Mr. Abdullah!

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AWESOME

For me it was very refreshing to hear a story that's not often told. As an African American these stories don't get past down. I always been interested in African history. but with this layer i have more research to check out. some names are very familiar to me. great book.

3 people found this helpful

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The book I didn’t know I needed.

Reading this epic tale infused with Black American Folk tales and African mythology was a transformative experience. Mbalia was able to infused a story of a young Black boy growing up and dealing with grief, trauma, handling expectations, and eventually becoming the person he’s always wanted to be. This is a must read for lover of YA fiction, Black Stories, any sci-fi lovers

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Awesome!!!

I loved this story! Amir Abdullah voice & Kwame's storytelling combined into a synergistic layered story that had me hooked from the very beginning. I wish I had this story growing up and so glad I can share this with my niece and nephews.
I can't wait for the next book!

2 people found this helpful

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We’re all stories in the end

I think I’ve found my new favorite hero, Tristan Strong and his motley crew (especially Gum Baby). Having been raised by grandparents who always encouraged storytelling, I instantly connected with the Strong family. Seeing Tristan learn how to cope with grief at a young age while becoming the hero of his own story was incredible to witness. Having the story come to life through Amir’s narration just made this even better. Loved this book so much!!

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Cultural Inspiration

This book makes me want to look up more African tales and songs to share with my kids. We must keep our stories alive.

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interesting.

This story was really good with the exception of gum baby. on one hand, she was annoying and I wanted to strangle her! On the other hand, I think she was written to be that way, so the author did a great job! I haven't decided whether or not I will pick up the next book, but the way the story ended has me strongly considering it!

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This'll be my present to my child when the time ..

I cried. Wow. thank you for sharing this inspiration.You rekindled my interest in cultural African folklore, my, our heritage.

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  • hi
  • 11-10-19

Awesome

I have read all rr presents books/plain rr books and this was one of my favorites,I am crossing my fingers for a book 2 narration was amazing

Highly recommended

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Awesome Book!

This is a great take on African Mythologies!
This story really takes you on a unforgettable adventure.