“Strongs keep punching, you get me?”
Tristan Strong comes from a legacy of boxers. But when Tristan loses his first bout, he is starting to think that boxing isn’t what he really wants to do. Also, he is dealing with the lose of his best friend, Eddie, who seemed to be the only one who truly knew him. His parents send him out to his grandparent’s farm to help him cope with the loses that he has recently went through. The first night he gets there, he is awoken by a little doll who is trying to steal his friend Eddie’s journal that contains all the African and American folklore that they use to share together. Well, in his attempt to retrieve the journal he is taken to an alternate world and inadvertently punches a hole in the sky.
I LOVED this book! This was such an amazing middle grade! The uniqueness of the American and African mythology used was so fun to discover through the eyes of Tristan and the stories that he was told. The pacing was great and I was completely hooked from the first chapter. Kwambe Mbalia crafted a world that was interesting and fun to be in. There was action, adventure, and even some hints of romance.
The characters were fantastic. Meeting the folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit was such a pleasure and I even found myself looking up the myths and reminiscing about when I learned these things. Gum Baby is the hilarious comic relief with the heart of gold. She was my absolute favorite character in the book. I could read about her for a whole book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and give it the highest recommendation! Go get you a copy and read it now! I am impatiently waiting for Tristan Strong Destroys the World coming out in October.
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