Monday's Muse, 17th Edition.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Cad E' Sin Don Te Sin by Orla Fallon.

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 New Policeman by Kate Thompson.

J.J. Liddy, 15, is descended from a proud old family of Irish musicians. In his small village of Kinvara, playing traditional music is a way of life. Lately, though, it seems that the townspeople have less and less time to fulfill daily responsibilities and very few moments left over to make music and enjoy life. In exasperation, J.J.'s mother asks for more time as her birthday gift. Unaware of any magical implications, the teen innocently sets out to find out where the time has gone. This search leads him into the heart of Tír na n'Óg, the land of eternal youth, where he discovers the truth about some family secrets and the identity of the rather hopeless new town policeman, whose mysterious investigation parallels J.J.'s quest. This novel delivers richly tantalizing morsels of Irish mythology as traditional characters dance across the pages. In a story interspersed with snippets of Irish jigs that reflect the progress of the tale, Thompson has masterfully woven together melody and harmony into a tune that will lead readers to a splendid, rollicking crescendo. Some unfamiliar Irish terminology might make comprehension difficult for those who struggle with reading, but the glossary will help mature readers. Those who follow this story through to the end will not be disappointed.—Heather M. Campbell, Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO. School Library Journal.

Snow White in New York by Fiona French.

Astonishing pictures highlight this sophisticated book about a classy New York dame named Snow White. Her troubles come when her father marries the Queen of the Underworld, who resents Snow White's popularity. Snow White is left by one of the Queen's henchmen to die on the streets of New York, but she stumbles into a club where seven jazzmen make her their singer. She's a hit again, so the Queen throws a party for her, doctoring Snow White's drink with a poison cherry. All of New York turns out for the funeral, but when her coffin is jolted, Snow White wakes up; the cherry was merely lodged in her throat. Suave and witty, this story is elevated by its pictures to dizzying, art deco heights. This might be readers' first look at a unique style of art, but they may wish for a change in the endingSnow White's stepmom should have been given a pair of cement shoes! -- Publisher's Weekly.

Begging for Change by Sharon Flake.

"Would you be all right if your mother got hit in the head with a pipe and your father was high as a kite?" In this sequel to Money Hungry (2001) Raspberry Hill's mother is in the hospital after being attacked by a neighborhood teenage girl, and Raspberry's father, homeless and addicted to drugs, resurfaces. Terrified that she and her mother may land back on the streets, Raspberry steals money from a friend. Is she turning into her father? Flake's charged, infectious dialogue will sweep readers through the first-person story as Raspberry describes her fears and moral quandaries; her new romance; her fierce love for her mother; and her powerful, conflicted feelings about her dad. Although vivid images of urban poverty, violence, and drug addiction clearly illustrate why Raspberry is so afraid, Flake never sensationalizes. The identity struggles of some of Raspberry's biracial friends threaten, at times, to distract from the main story, but Flake manages ultimately to balance her many plots and blend them into a hopeful novel that encourages readers to share Raspberry's questions: Can money buy security? How do you forgive those who have hurt you? Does violence ever stop rippling through a community once it begins? Gillian Engberg, Booklist.

New Moon: Book One of the Oran Trilogy by Midori Snyder.

Two hundred years ago, the Fire Queen destroyed her rival queens of Earth, Air, and Water in the fateful Burning and took power over Oran. No child with a trace of the elemental magic was alloved to live. Years later, the country still trembles under her oppression. But now there are rumors of hope. Four young women escaped—four who have the powers of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air—and are even now finding each other. At the same time, a ragtag army of artists and singers, orphans and vagrants, thieves and knifewielders is stealing into the city. Their sign is the bloodred, blade-thin New Moon . . .