Bestselling author Rick Riordan presents the second book in the New York Times best-selling and award-winning Tristan Strong trilogy by Kwame Mbalia.
Tristan Strong, just back from a victorious but exhausting adventure in Alke, the land of African American folk heroes and African gods, is suffering from PTSD. But there's no rest for the weary when his grandmother is abducted by a mysterious villain out for revenge. Tristan must return to Alke--and reunite with his loud-mouthed sidekick, Gum Baby--in order to rescue Nana and stop the culprit from creating further devastation. Anansi, now a "web developer" in Tristan's phone, is close at hand to offer advice, and several new folk heroes will aid Tristan in his quest, but he will only succeed if he can figure out a way to sew broken souls back together.
Well-paced—just like the previous installment—this sequel focuses on themes such as the meaning of diaspora and the effects of trauma, making for a more nuanced and stronger story than the first. The human characters are Black with varying shades of brown skin. Packs a punch.
In this spectacular follow-up to Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, Mbalia offers a hard-hitting exploration of personal and cultural trauma twined with a well-paced adventure. A month after his return from Alke, Tristan Strong is still learning to embrace his new role as an Anansesem, a storyteller in possession of a Story Box-specifically, a smartphone-that contains the trickster god Anansi. When the malevolent Shamble Man attacks the Strong farm and kidnaps his grandmother, Tristan returns to Alke, which is still rebuilding following the adventures of his last visit-and under attack by the corrupting influence of the Shamble Man, who accurately blames Tristan for the devastation. To save his grandmother and Alke’s inhabitants, Tristan must face his greatest failures head-on. Mbalia again skillfully weaves mythological and folktale threads, along the way expanding his world’s reach, deconstructing Tristan’s role as hero, and examining the communal role of storytelling. Alternately humorous and heartbreaking, this installment sees Tristan entering a dramatic new chapter of his saga that will leave readers eager for more. Ages 8-12.
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