Tuma Book Rant: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (TUma's Book Rants- Book Review) In the first book of the Tristan Strong trilogy, we are introduced to 7th grader Tristan who is grieving the loss of his best friend in a bus accident. There's LOADs of guilt for being unable to help/save his friend. All he has left is his friend's journal where he collected fables and stories. While he's seeing a counselor, his parents are still concerned and send him to stay with his strict/grumpy granddad and chatty Nana for a bit at their farm in Alabama (he's a Chi-town kid, that is a nickname for Chicago right? I didn't make that up? haha) When Tristan arrives at the farm, the first night there--something enters his room and tries to steal his best friend's journal! Tristan chases after it through his bedroom window and into the nearby woods. Next thing he knows, he's punching a tree, releases an evil spirit, and falls into a world where all of the African fables his Nana told and his bestie Eddie wrote about actually exist!

Tuma's Rant:
- Seriously, Gramps was so annoying! Leave Tristan alone.
- I loved how all of the folktale stories came together in this tale. I definitely want to find and learn the original myths for myself.
- "Power, boy! It's all about power. You control the story, you control the narrative, you control power." (Pg. 325)
- Even with specific descriptions and details, some monsters were too difficult to visualize. Illustrations would have been helpful or less creative monsters. 🤷🏾‍♀️ Lol
- Most of world building is wonderfully done with strong imagery. Readers fall into this surprising, beautiful, strange world along with Tristan and like Tristan we hang on for one HELL of a ride.
- This book has everything you need for the perfect fantasy adventure story.
- The characters are a bit caricature but it works. They're so unique and so much fun! Gum-baby is my fave! Such a hoot! 😂😂
- The ending was well done. Great closure while setting up for book 2.
- Would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy-adventure and is curious about African and African-American folklore and legends.

Have you read this one? Or would you now based on my rant?
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

  • Celebrating Disability Pride Month with Inclusive Reads!

    Celebrating Disability Pride Month with Inclusi...

    Happy Disability Pride Month! This is a perfect time to reflect on and celebrate the diverse narratives of disabled authors and stories featuring disability representation.

    Celebrating Disability Pride Month with Inclusi...

    Happy Disability Pride Month! This is a perfect time to reflect on and celebrate the diverse narratives of disabled authors and stories featuring disability representation.

  • Review: A Fox in My Brain by Lou Lubie

    Review: A Fox in My Brain by Lou Lubie

    A graphic novel memoir that is a heartwarming yet difficult sharing of the author's experiences with cyclothymia, a mood disorder.

    Review: A Fox in My Brain by Lou Lubie

    A graphic novel memoir that is a heartwarming yet difficult sharing of the author's experiences with cyclothymia, a mood disorder.

  • Review: Womb City by Tlotlo Tsamaase

    Review: Womb City by Tlotlo Tsamaase

    Set in Futuristic Botswana, there's microchips, multiple life spans, and a murderous ghost. If you like science fiction that requires you to buckle in for the ride, then Womb City...

    Review: Womb City by Tlotlo Tsamaase

    Set in Futuristic Botswana, there's microchips, multiple life spans, and a murderous ghost. If you like science fiction that requires you to buckle in for the ride, then Womb City...

1 of 3