Welcome to my books!
SOLSTICE MAGIC opens my new Calgary Stampede Adventure series.
When Zo Luki’s eccentric Baba Dolia and her savage Caucasian Ovcharka come from Ukraine to live with her estranged son’s family on their farm near Edmonton, Alberta, the ensuing chaos catapults the characters into the extreme sport of rodeo at the Calgary Stampede. Good thing Zo has a best friend with an attractive older brother to soften the trauma.
THE COUSIN CYCLE is a group of stories about a year when everything that can go wrong in the family, does go wrong. Don’t be surprised when the books’ narrators have individual and sometimes contradictory points of view about the events of that year. Feel free to read the novels in any order you like, since each is a self-contained story. Enjoy!
Balance (for middle school girls)
When twelve-year-old Adele Walker decides her mother can no longer be her hero and despairs that her big boisterous family will ever cultivate any elegance, she finds a shadowy Internet friend who seems to have answers.
The Hoarders (for upper elementary readers)
Ten-year-old Cheyenne Walker tells about when he and his brother lived off their food hoard, how they stayed clear of Grey Tooth, and why the family ghost mattered most of all.
What the Critics Say
Solstice Magic – “A charming contemporary fantasy that sees teenager Zo grapple with her stubborn Ukrainian grandmother, Baba Dolia. . . . she layers the perfect amount of detail into what is essentially Zo’s wondrous coming-of-age tale, one that new readers and devotees of magical realism shouldn’t miss. Meticulously crafted, fanciful but never too sweet, this magical adventure hums along pleasingly.” Link to complete review.
Midwest Book Reviews:
“Author Jean Stringam has deftly created a unique world populated with memorable characters. Solstice Magic is a very special and enormously entertaining read from beginning to end making it highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as school and community library YA collections.” Link to complete review.
Rod McGillis, Professor Emeritus, U Calgary
“Solstice Magic is the first in a series of books by Jean Stringam set during and around the Calgary Stampede. The book is inventive, witty, thoughtful, and surprising. . . . Much is going on in Solstice Magic. The book is about immigrant culture, specifically Ukrainian culture, about teenage romance, about sheep dog handling, about bull riding, about animal and human relations, about friendships and family. The characters are strong and the writing lyrical, especially when we get what the book terms “rabbit-lip,” a form of prose expression that combines the lyricism of poetry with the mystery of unexpected expression. When a character speaks in rabbit-lip, we are disarmed by the novelty of the prose and drawn in by the desire to understand this strange lingo. The rabbit-lip is perhaps an indication of this book’s uniqueness, its imaginative originality. What Stringam has created is a daring mixture of not only genres, but also reading levels. The plot with its intermittent brutal reality will appeal to readers both young and not so young. I suspect this book fits the classification “crossover fiction.” It is, finally, a triumph of imagination.” Link to complete review.