Tristan Strong Punches the Sky A Rick Riordan novel by Kwame Mbalai

Seventh-grader Tristan Strong tumbles into the MidPass and, with allies John Henry and Brer Rabbit, must entice the god Anansi to come out of hiding and seal the hole Tristan accidentally ripped in the sky
Booklist (July 2022 (Vol. 118, No. 21))
Grades 4-6. This graphic adaptation of Kwame Mbalia’s groundbreaking adventure fantasy hits all the major plot points: Following the death of his best friend, Tristan visits his grandparents’ Alabama farm, where his pursuit of a mysterious burglar leads him to accidentally punch a bottle tree, releasing an evil haint and tearing a hole into the world of Alke, home to the pantheon of African and African American myths, gods, and folk heroes. In Alke, Tristan must come into his own as an Anansesem, a magically powerful storyteller, if he’s to save the people from an uprising of fetterlings and other evil, oppressive monsters. While Venditti’s adaptation is an impressive feat of storytelling efficiency and artist Stephens visualizes so many memorable characters, the meager page count and sparse background art give little room for the original 496-page epic or its characters to breathe, giving the feeling of a rushed product. Nonetheless, the original’s popularity will have readers queuing up for their turn with this version, and the graphic-novel space remains in desperate need of more Black representation. Stock up.