Reviewed by Paul D., Senior Information Assistant

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia is also available as an ebook through Hoopla.

Civil Discourse

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky is an exciting, well-crafted, character-driven adventure, reminiscent of the Percy Jackson series’ Greek Myth formula. Seventh-grader Tristan, struggling to find himself living in the shadow of his father and grandfather and still reeling from the unexpected death of his best friend, is thrust into a fantastical world of West African and African-American myth and folklore. The story is action-packed and has many memorable moments, both thrilling and laugh-out-loud funny, thanks to the engaging narration and the well-drawn supporting cast. Black history and the vibrant settings and characters are tied together with strong themes of emotional intelligence, friendship, and storytelling as a means of strengthening cultural identity. This book would make an excellent jumping-off point for personal reflection or family discussions about Black identity, masculinity, and the Black American cultural experience. Appropriate for ages 7+

This review is part of the Finding Value series, inspired by the eleven core values central to our mission. Tune in as Library staff review books and movies that highlight the values accessibility, civil discourse, inclusiveness, integrity, intellectual freedom, lifelong learning, literacy, respect, safety, service, and stewardship.