Thursday, March 26, 2020

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia - OPTIONAL

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, 482 pages, Disney Hyperion, 2019, $18.

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content G; Violence: PG



7th grader, Tristan Strong has gone to his grandparent’s farm to recover from losing his best friend, Eddie.  His first night there he is attacked by a strange ten inch doll-like creature named Gum Baby, that makes off with Eddie’s journal of African and American African stories.  Tristan follows and inadvertently rips a hole into the world of Alke, where the old stories and their Gods exist.  The hole in the sky causes life-threatening problems for Alke’s residents.   To top it off, a haint has followed him.  Tristan must save Alke’s world before the destruction spills over into his own. 

I really wanted to like this story more because there is a dearth of good African heritage mythology brought into modern times.  This book suffer from its strength though: too much action.  There is so much going on that I’m not sure Tristan even had a chance to use the bathroom (not that we need to know that, but you get the idea).  Because of that, there isn’t much character development or tension build up. So at 482 pages, the book felt superficial and long.  This book also left me wishing for a pronunciation guide for the African names and a short note about what was actual mythology.   
Michelle in the Middle

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