This page features books by Jean Stringam. You’ll be fascinated by the four books in the Cousin Cycle and you’ll love the magical realism in the first book of the Calgary Stampede Adventure series. Be sure to check out her blog where she writes about the arts, makes cultural complaints, admits to how she lives, and discusses her writing.
The Cousin Cycle consists 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. Who’s telling the truth?
- How Not to Cry in Public & Other Victories (Book 4 – Young Adult)
How far will Brenna go to discover her family? They could be amazing, or they could be people she’s better off not knowing. When the evidence doesn’t add up, and without a reliable guide, Brenna makes mistakes in judgment that cost her dearly. Who knew hunting for birth parents could be hazardous to your health?
You’ll love Ch One – How Not to Cry in Public & Other Victories.ul>
- Regrets Tree on Fire (Book 3 – Young Adult)
School begins with fire, chess, and girls—plenty of tinder for one year—but when Internet bullying morphs into a protection racket, the social order has just changed. How can you keep your integrity in a culture drenched with sex and violence?
Take a look at Ch One – Regrets Tree on Fire.
- Balance (Book 2 – middle school girls)
When twelve-year-old Adele 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.
Enjoy reading Ch One – Balance.
- The Hoarders (Book 1 – upper elementary readers)
Ten-year-old Cheyenne tells about the winter he and his brother live off their food hoard, how they stay clear of Grey Tooth, and why the family ghost matters most of all.
Here’ a free peek into Ch One – The Hoarders
“The boys are . . . always empathetic figures, and their compelling, dramatic story will captivate most readers.” – Booklist review by Michael Cart — The Hoarders (Cousin Cycle, #1)
“A satisfying conclusion . . . authentic voice is lovable . . . a worthy read.” – Kirkus review of The Hoarders (Cousin Cycle, #1)
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.
If you love magical realism, you’ll love this story. Sometimes YA finds a cross-over adult audience, and this series is doing just that. Be my guest with a free download of Ch One – Solstice Magic
What the Critics Say about Solstice Magic
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.