Monday's Muse, 10th edition.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Fidelity by Regina Spektor.

This was originally an idea from Au Courant started in March, an idea she has graciously let me run with.

The idea is to introduce you to unknown, forgotten, or overlooked fiction that has been lost from regular radar. I am WriterGirl. I am in the business of saving lives, one book at a time.

What I do is go to amazon, narrow it down to a YA field and type in a random word, any word that comes to mind. I then take a sampling of some I have never heard of before, or only vaguely heard of (and hopefully you as well). No infringement is intended for any description I take for the books. It's purely for promotional reasons. I will try and cover as many genres as possible that are fitting for the random word. Simple but it really uncovers some incredible gems. I will be doing this every other Monday. If there are any words you want to prompt me with, go ahead and fire away.

Today's random word:

The Shape of Water by Anne Spollen.

As 15-year-old Magdalena tries to cope with her mother's suicide, reality and fantasy clash until she accepts the truth of what really happened. The beach was their favorite place, and they often swam and explored together. Now, the girl's companions are a family of fish that live in her imagination. At first this device is somewhat off-putting, but as the pain surrounding her loss becomes apparent, it becomes more acceptable. Her father tries to help her recover from the trauma she has suffered even while he must also adjust to his own grief. Hannah, her aunt, helps with practical things at home. She seems like a strong, focused woman but her background unfolds in surprising ways. Magda's father eventually marries a widow who tries to deny the troubles of her teenage son until he winds up in the hospital after a suicide attempt. Gradually, Magda begins to come to terms with reality, and, as she does, the fish companions begin to disappear. Though at times confusing, this story is riveting, and Spollen's incredibly descriptive prose creates images as clear and alive as those of a master painter. It demonstrates the resilience of the human spirit. —Renee Steinberg, School Library Journal.

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein.

The missing piece sat alone
waiting for someone
to come along
and take it somewhere....

The different ones it encounters - and what it discovers in its helplessness - are portrayed with simplicity and compassion in the words and drawings of Shel Silverstein.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor.

So what if he's legally blind? Even with his bottle-thick, bug-eyed glasses, Paul Fisher can see better than most people. He can see the lies his parents and brother live out, day after day. No one ever listens to Paul, though--until the family moves to Tangerine. In Tangerine, even a blind, geeky, alien freak can become cool. Who knows? Paul might even become a hero! Edward Bloor's debut novel sparkles with wit, authenticity, unexpected plot twists, and heart. The writing is so fine, the story so triumphant, that you just might stand up and shout when you get to the end. Hooray!

The Saga Of Grittel Sundotha by Ardath Mayhar.

Seven-foot-tall Grittel, daughter of the Lord of Sundoth, has refused the impossible marriage arranged by her domineering mother. Now an embarrassment to her family, she is sent forth to make her own way in the world. But Grittel Sundotha is no shrinking maiden. Along the way she castrates a noble noted for his lechery; defeats the assassins he sends after her; and, having been trapped by a sorceress in an enchanted forest, winds up boiling the witch in her own cauldron, taking with her the spell book she finds there.

This proves invaluable, for she finds that she has an innate gift for sorcery. When she meets a space ship's crew whose vessel has been pulled from their own dimension (where magic is impossible), into Grittel's (where technology does not work), she attempts to prove her abilities by "clearing" the Captain's head--and instead, inadvertently makes it invisible. She knows that she must find the wizard whose spell has trapped the ship, for only he can send the vessel home. But not all mages on this world practice white magic!

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander, Wayne Geehan.

King Arthur and his knights have a royal tangle of problems. Their rectangular table is too long and their triangular table is too pointy, but they somehow must sit down and discuss the shape of the future. Join a knight named Sir Cumference, his wife, Lady Di of Ameter, and their son Radius as they use different strategies to solve this quandary. Full-color illustrations.


Elle Strauss said...

This is a great idea. So many awesome books are forgotten in the foray of the new.