Solstice Magic is magical realism at its best. Whenever a YA novel finds a cross-over adult audience, you know you’ve found a great story. Solstice Magic is doing just that.
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, Canada, 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.
Try a free download of Ch One – Solstice Magic
Your Reading Group:
When you get together with friends to discuss a good book, it’s fun to have a jump-off place. Try these ideas to get the conversation off to a flying start! Discussion Topics for Solstice Magic
A unique aspect of Jean Stringam’s work is that she writes a song for each book. She says that after living with her protagonists for many months, she begins to hear the song they sing. The song doesn’t match a particular scene in the story as often happens in musical theatre. Instead, think of the song as an expression of the character’s soul, the essence of the person.
Download your copy of the sheet music for Safe at Home Again.
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.