Kwame Mbalia at Seawell Elementary School

Kwame Mbalia at Seawell Elementary School for Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Tuesday, 3/3

Please consider purchasing extra copies for students in need. Seawell needs about 50-60 extra copies for students who would also like to experience the excitement that comes with a signed copy but are unable purchase one. If your family is able, please consider purchasing an additional copy/copies that we can give to these students. *Please note that you are purchasing an extra copy/copies on the online order so those copies can be given to the librarian in advance for these students.

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia's epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly imagined world populated by African American folk heroes and West African gods.

Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he's going to spend on his grandparents' farm in Alabama, where he's being sent to heal from the tragedy. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie's notebook. Tristan chases after it--is that a doll?--and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature's hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?

Kwame Mbalia is a husband, father, writer, a New York Times bestselling author, and pharmaceutical metrologist in that order. His debut middle-grade novel, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, is published by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion. A Howard University graduate and a Midwesterner now in North Carolina, he enjoys impromptu dance sessions and Cheezits.


Pre-orders for this event have closed. We will have copies of Tristan Strong available for purchase at Seawell tomorrow--your student should have received an order form. We will also have signed copies at the store beginning on Wednesday, 3/4.

Event date: 
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 9:30am
Event address: 
Chapel Hill, NC