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Summary: Charlie and his dad are in their whaler headed to Loud’s Island for the holidays. The family cabin is a special place where one can relax and sort things out. Within sight of the island, the motor stopped. The whaler (without oars) heads for the open sea. It’s cold, getting dark, and they are at the mercy of the wind and currents. What’s going to happen to them? Well…it is December 21, the Winter Solstice, a time when magical things are known to occur. Can they make it to shore?
Solstice shows that even when things feel like they are ruined and will never change, in time something or someone will show that love is forever. However, once Al and Charlie leave, they soon come to see they can never go back. This is a seasonal chapter book that has story elements that give it year-round value (e.g., impact of divorce on kids).
Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 12; read yourself: 11 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: I liked Solstice because the delightful characters brought to life the morals of the story. Initially, the story appears to appeal a younger age group, but with the high vocabulary and intricate dialogue it should be targeted toward the pre-teen age group. This would be a great holiday gift because it is about Christmas and bringing together the family, no matter how small, at the holiday time of year. Nevertheless, this story is an easy read for one who desires a classic tale of friendship and tranquility. Overall, I thought this was a new, fresh, and enjoyable story.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is the fourth book I have reviewed by Jan Adkins. It is a great story. He really knows what will catch and sustain an adolescent's attention.
Pros: Jan Adkins knows how to write stories that captivate the adolescent reader from the opening sentence. The characters, plot, and pace are so well crafted and coordinated that reading the story is an enjoyable and thought provoking experience.
Cons: This book is flawless.
Borrow or Buy: The book is definitely a “buy” for the adolescent’s book shelf. The story is great. The characters are believable. The situations will be familiar.
Educational Themes: Parents who are involved in marital problems and/or divorce are frequently unaware of the guilt and emotional strain that their children experience. This story allows ample opportunity to discuss issues and problems related to adult relationships.