Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Hardcover)

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Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky By Kwame Mbalia Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

"One of the things we all know about books is that stories have incredible power. This lesson is something that is at the core of Kwame Mbalia's Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky and a lesson that Tristan struggles to learn during the course of his adventures through African legend and African American folklore. John Henry and Brer Rabbit rub shoulders with Anansi in a book that tells a story of loss, friendship and finding yourself."

— Thomas


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.

*"Mbalia expertly weaves a meaningful portrayal of family and community with folklore, myth, and history—including the legacy of the slave trade—creating a fast-paced, heroic series starter."--Publishers Weekly(starred review)

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?

Winner of a Coretta Scott King Author Honor    

Endorsed by Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, now a hit series on Disney+.

About the Author

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, and the third is Tristan Strong Keeps Punching. Kwame is also the publisher of an imprint at Disney Hyperion called Freedom Fire, dedicated to stories about the Black experience by Black creators. Kwame lives with his wife and children outside Raleigh, North Carolina, where he is currently working on a new middle grade series about a character named Jax Freeman. For more information, go to kwamembalia.com.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781368039932
ISBN-10: 1368039936
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents
Publication Date: October 15th, 2019
Pages: 496
Language: English
Series: Tristan Strong