Favorites: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Almost everyone should know Rick Riordan. You know, Percy Jackson. So popular. I love Riordan (don’t tell anyone, I think I like Riordan’s writing more than the writing of that Harry guy).  This book I’m adding to my favorites list isn’t a Riordan book, but it’s endorsed by him.

You see, Riordan is using his fame to help other writers. He has created his Rick Riordan presents series which is focused on writer’s that may have a harder time breaking out but whose books need to be out there.

And I definitely agree with that in the one I’m talking about here. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky. While I’m not a fan of the title, the story is great. I loved it because it featured some characters from the Uncle Remus stories. My aunt gave me an illustrated Uncle Remus book when I was young and I still have it. One of my favorite childhood memories and I loved reading it to my kids and doing all the voices.

Those characters are in here along with others like John Henry. They are gods and not just fancy stories. Powerful beings, but not powerful enough to overcome a new threat. Which, of course, is why Tristan is there.

When they met Anansi I realized what this book reminded me of. Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. This is kinda like a kids version of that story. Which made me love it even more.

would this book have been published without Riordan? I don’t know, I’d like to think so because it’s worth a read. It presents some background on mythology from a country we havne’t had too much from – Africa. It’s exciting that kids are being given the chance to add the great mythologica figures of that country to their knowledge. Better – there are a couple sequels to this book, so the kids don’t have to stop with just this one.

Tristan Strong

By Kwame Mbalia

Seventh grader Traistan 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.

On his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie’s journal. Tristan chqses it – is that a doll? – through the forest, and a tug-of-war ensues by his grandmother’s mysterious and off-limits Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to wrestle the hournal out of the creature’s hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidently ripping a hole in the sky above Mid Pass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this strange world.


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