Monday, June 30, 2008

New Book Tuesday

New Book Wednesday comes to you a day early this week, as I'll be away from the Library on Wednesday...

Little Brother X by Cory Doctorow

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Secrets of My Hollywood Life: Family Affairs by Jen Calonita

Homeboyz by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Cathy's Book (If Found Call 650-266-8233) by Stewart/Weisman/Brigg

Airhead by Meg Cabot

Genius Squad by Catherine Jinks
(Sequel to Evil Genius)

Fade To Black by Alex Finn

Spellbound by Janet McDonald

Attack of The Fiend by Joseph Delaney
(Book Four in the Wardstone Chronicles series. Check out the other books here: Book 1 "Revenge of the Witch", Book 2 "Curse of The Bane", and Book 3 "Night of the Soul Stealer")

As always, click on any link above to be taken to the library catalog. Enjoy!

-Justin The Teen Librarian

Cool website for the week of June 29-July 5

A very cool and FREE downloadable program from Google...

From Google...
Google SketchUp is software that you can use to create, modify and share 3D models. It's easier to learn than other 3D modeling programs, which is why so many people are already using it.
It is very easy to use...I'm a librarian (not a graphic designer!) and I had no trouble using it was lots of fun.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Reading List recommendations

I've been reading over the many summer reading lists from local schools today and thought I'd share my thoughts on some of the books on the list that I've read as well as some other interesting things you can check out in relation to the book.

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

If you love the Lord of the Rings trilogy and haven't read this book....why not? It's the prequel to the Lord of the Rings tales and quite a good epic adventure book itself, telling the tale of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

They made The Hobbit into an animated movie in the late 70's and it's great. We have it at the library and I highly recommend you check it out: The Hobbit: The Animated Movie

We've also got The Hobbit on CD, presented by a full cast...haven't heard it yet but it sounds neat. The Hobbit: Full Cast Book on CD

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

A very interesting book that acts as a history lesson. It deals with the meatpacking industry in the early 1900's and the poor working conditions and poverty that employees faced as well as the corruption of the people higher up in the organization. Grim? A bit, but it presents a good look at how working conditions were 100 years ago.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair at the library

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Focusing on the happenings of the Wiggin family (specifically Ender Wiggin), this futuristic sci-fi book deals with Earth turning to Ender to save them from an alien race known as the buggers which threaten to invade and destroy Earth. This book focuses on Ender's training at battle school and his rise to leader against the buggers. My description of the book makes it sound like a bad sci fi adventure, but trust me it's not. It's a well written book that dives into the psychological aspects of the characters. Plus, if you like the book there's more in the series to read...always a plus for any reader.

Ender Wiggin Series
1. Ender's Game
2. Speaker for the Dead
3. Xenocide
4. Children of the Mind
5. A War of Gifts
6. Ender in Exile (coming soon!)

Shadow Saga
1. Ender's Shadow
2. Shadow of the Hegemon
3. Shadow Puppets
4. Shadow of the Giant

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Dealing with the life of Jerry Renault, this book focuses on Jerry's desire to not participate in the school benefit to sell chocolate and aid the school. In doing so, Jerry is rebelling against the headmaster of the school as well as the secret society known as The Vigils. At first, he finds himself a sort of hero, but over time becomes the target of many attackers who accuse him of being an enemy to the school. Once again, my description of the books fails to live up to the actual greatness of the book....but trust me on this one! I really enjoyed reading this book (which I actually read as part of my summer reading list in high school) and recommend it highly.

They made it into a movie which I've never seen before, but we have it here at the library: The Chocolate War on DVD

We've also got the book on CD: The Chocolate War Book on CD

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Have a great weekend...

What I'll be doing this weekend...

I'll be reading White Tiger by Tamora Pierce, Timothy Liebe, and illustrated by Phil Briones. Look for my review sometime next week...

Have a great weekend...
-Justin The Librarian

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Old School Thursday

When I wrote my review for Weezer's The Red Album on Tuesday I mentioned a song called "Bohemiam Rhapsody" by a band named Queen. Melissa The Librarian (who will be bringing us some music reviews next week) brought it my attention that some people reading this blog may not know who Queen is let alone have ever heard the song "Bohemian Rhapsody".

So here's the deal with Old School Thursday. We'll talk about some really cool older things that somehow relate to today and who knows....maybe you'll dig it. If not, it's like some kind of history lesson.

(summary borrowed from Wikipedia)

Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, and drummer Roger Taylor, with bass guitarist John Deacon joining the following year. Queen rose to prominence during the 1970s and are arguably Britain's most successful band of the past thirty years.

The band is noted for their musical diversity, multi-layered arrangements, vocal harmonies, and incorporation of audience participation into their live performances. Their 1985 Live Aid performance was voted the best live rock performance of all time in an industry poll.
Queen had moderate success in the early 1970s, with the albums Queen and Queen II, but it was with the release of Sheer Heart Attack in 1974 and A Night at the Opera the following year that the band gained international success. Since 1975, eighteen of the band's albums have reached number one on numerous charts around the world. Since 1973, they have released fifteen studio albums, five live albums, and numerous compilation albums.

Following Mercury's death in 1991 and Deacon's retirement later in the decade, May and Taylor have performed infrequently under the Queen name. Since 2005, they have been collaborating with Paul Rodgers, under the moniker Queen + Paul Rodgers, which has led to Queen recording their first studio album in 13 years.

(end Wikipedia, begin Justin The Librarian)

Trust me...Queen are an awesome. Their music is very thematic, arena rock type stuff. It's a weird combination of opera/musical type music crossed with good solid rock music. It's tough to describe, but trust's good.

Luckily, we've got some stuff on Queen at the library that you should check out...

Queen: An Illustrated Biography by Judith Davis
Queen: Greatest Hits
Tie Your Mother Down: A Tribute To Queen (newer bands covering Queen songs)

-Justin The Librarian

Book review: "Pendragon" series by D.J. MacHale

Review by Beth
The Pendragon series is a sci-fi series following the life and adventures of Bobby Pendragon, who was an average kid until his mysterious Uncle Press came and announced that Bobby was the lead Traveler of Halla. Halla is the true name for the universe- or, for a better description, all that ever has or will exist. There are 10 territories in Halla, which are basically different planets in different time periods. There is a traveler for each territory (Bobby is from Second Earth, or the Earth that we know). The travelers are the only ones who are allowed to travel between the territories. Each territory has a turning point, which the travelers try to influence. Not all of them try to influence it for the good, however- what would an action series be without an evil villain? In the Pendragon series, the villain is a traveler/demon named Saint Dane, who tries again and again to prove that humans are selfish and will always cause their own destruction when left to decide their fate for themselves. On one hand, it is clear that Saint Dane is the embodiment of pure evil, however whenever he confronts Bobby he makes some very logical arguments. Which only proves how manipulative he can be...

The Pendragon series is a basic good versus evil, however it is also much more complex than that. It contains more depth than simply being good is good and bad is bad. There are times when the "good" characters question their motives. They are very real, and have very real reactions- whether that is to give up if they've had enough, or to go completely insane, or try to avenge a lost family member, or whatever. It raises a lot of questions about the way things are, and possibilities about how things could be. It really is a series that contains almost everything, seeing as it takes place on 7 different planets in different eras, with many different complex characters...The series switches perspectives as well. It's partially written in journal form-Bobby's journal, which is also a letter to his friends- and from his friend's perspective. Occasionally there will be another perspective thrown in as well. This gives several takes on what is happening, and also tells you what is going on in different places at the same time. This is confusing in some parts, when a new character is introduced and then forgotten until 200 pages later, but in the end it all comes back together, with all of its unexpected twists and turns leading into an ending that wasnt expected yet fits perfectly. There will be ten books in the Pendragon series, however only nine are out so far. It begins when Bobby and his friends are 14, and by the 9th they are 18- so it allows for a wide age range of readers.

(click on any link above to find the book at the library)

Many thanks to Beth for her excellent review.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Book Wednesday

Music Review: Weezer "The Red Album"

I can’t lie. I’m a huge Weezer fan. I’ve been since 1994 (does that make me old?) and I just can’t get enough of them. I honestly think that they’re the greatest band of the 21st century.

We just got their new album The Red Album at the library. I cannot stop listening to it. Starting off with the pop tune “Troublemaker” the band immediately gets into your head. You can’t help but sing along. The next song “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” is a masterpiece…6 minutes of music that twists and turns every couple bars and invites you along for the whole ride. It's the most epic song I've heard since Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". “Pork And Beans”, the first single from the album (no doubt if you listen to the radio you’ve heard this one before) is the song for the summer of 2008. The last bit of the album finds the band in an interesting mood, as they switch gears and take turns singing lead vocals. It’s the first time something like this has happened on a Weezer album and I hope it happens more.

One of the cooler things about the copy we got at the library is that it is the deluxe edition of the album. What does this mean? 4 extra tracks that rock your socks off. "Miss Sweeney" is the first, which explodes into a huge sing along chorus. "Pig" comes up next and is a beautiful song about the life and death of a pig. Sounds a bit silly but trust's a great song. The deluxe songs end with two other stellar tracks, "The Spider" and "King". Don't pass up the bonus tracks...they're some of the best songs on The Red Album.

Does the album have downsides? Sure. Sometimes the lyrics are a bit on the childish side and instead of inviting you into the song they kind of make you say "Did I hear that correctly?"

Overall, The Red Album is a blast that anyone will enjoy. The key here is that Weezer writes some great songs. Listen up everyone and sing along…

Do I suggest you check out this album? YES YES YES.

Check out Weezer's new album The Red Album at the Cape May County Library

Click here for The Red Album by Weezer at the library

Want more Weezer? We've got it at the library...

Weezer-The Blue Album
Weezer-The Green Album

-Reviewed by Justin The Librarian

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cool website for the week of June 22-28

Very cool site for anyone looking for a new book or graphic novel to read. Just type in any author or title you like and you get a ton of cool recommendations for what you should check out next. Better yet, each recommendation is linked to, so reading more about the recommendations is quite easy....

-Justin The Librarian

Friday, June 20, 2008

Have a great weekend...

Good times at the library...June 2008.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Book review: "The House of Night" series by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Review by Beth
I read all three of the House of Night novels that are out so far, as have most of my friends. I read the books because of my friends' praise, but I wasn't wowed. They seemed to be a bit shallow. The main character goes from being a normal high school girl, to being a special fledgling vampire with special talents that speaks to a Goddess, to trying to fit in at her new school, to having three boyfriends at much happens to this one girl in such a short amount of time. That's another thing- it's pretty rushed. The entire series up to the point it's at now took place only over a month or so- that's three books. The fact that everything happens so quickly takes away any believability that might be in a vampire book. Plus the fact that nothing happens to anyone but her, and her universe revolves around herself and occasionally something will happen to her immediate friends, but those events aren't focused on so much as her personal problems. Which I guess is what you can expect from a book that's written in first person view of a somewhat self-abosorbed girl with a lot of issues at once... all in all, it wasn't written very well, however I do think it had a fair storyline, and I will continue to follow the series.

Review by Kaitlyn and Madison

This books is a new way to look a vampyres. It's not like every tale of blood sucking monsters roaming the streets hunting for people. This book is the second in a series that tells the story of a young teen girl that not by choice is thrown into a world other then hers. She has to deal with everything all people have to deal with in their teen years, you know struggles with friends, family, and life choices. To top that off she is the "Chosen" one. Zoey has more power then any other vampyre fledgling her age and does not know all the power she has. After she imprints with her human boyfriend he starts to follow her around and she starts flirting with Erik the hottest boy in the school the trouble starts and Zoey loses her best friend Stevie Rae. P.C and Kristen Cast have created a book that teens can relate to but with the twist that all the kids are vampyres.
Titles in "The House of Night" series by P.C. and Kristin Cast:

#3: Chosen
#4: Untamed (to be released in Late 2008)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Want to help with the new Teen Zone Podcast?

First up, what's a podcast? Here's one of the easiest definitions I could find...

"a Web-based audio broadcast via an RSS feed, accessed by subscription over the Internet"

Basically, it's like an online radio show that you subscribe to over the internet. Sort of like TiVo for the internet...

Anyways, I'd like to put together our own podcast here at the library and I'm looking for some teens to help me out. For each episode, we'll be talking about new books, movies, and music that you're currently into. You don't need to know how to create a podcast...we'll learn together.

If you're interested, send me an email or just leave a comment on this blog...

More on this to come!

-Justin The Teen Librarian

New Books June 17, 2008

Blood Roses by Francesca Lia Block

Jango by William Nicholson
(Book Two of the Noble Warriors series. Haven't read the first one? Check out Seeker by William Nicholson)

Betrayed: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Absolutely, Positively David Larochelle

Saving Zoë by Alyson Noël

Remember...anyone that wants to send book reviews, please email them to

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cool website for the week of June 15-21

  • Click on the answer that best defines the word
  • If you get it right, you get a harder word. If you get it wrong, you get an easier word.
  • For each word you get right, the website will donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program

Check it best score so far was vocab level 39...see if you can beat me!

-Justin The Librarian

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Michael L. Printz Books

Looking for a good book but don't know what to read?

Why not try one of the many Michael L. Printz book award winners?

What is the award?

The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Winner: The White Darkness, by Geraldine McCaughrean

Honor Books
One Whole and Perfect Day, by Judith Clarke
Repossessed, by A.M. Jenkins

Winner: American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang

Honor Books
Surrender, by Sonya Hartnett
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

Winner: Looking for Alaska, by John Green

Honor Books:
Black Juice, by Margo Lanagan
I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
A Wreath for Emmett Till, by Marilyn Nelson

Winner: how i live now, by Meg Rosoff

Honor Books:
Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel
Chanda’s Secrets, by Allan Stratton
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary D. Schmidt

Winner: The First Part Last, by Angela Johnson

Honor Books:
A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly
Keesha’s House, by Helen Frost
Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler

Winner: Postcards from No Man’s Land, by Aidan Chambers

Honor Books:
The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer
My Heartbeat, by Garret Freymann-Weyr
Hole in My Life, by Jack Gantos

Winner: A Step From Heaven, by An Na

Honor Books:
The Ropemaker, by Peter Dickinson
Heart to Heart by Jan Greenberg Abrams
Freewill, by Chris Lynch
True Believer, by Virginia Euwer Wolff

Winner: Kit’s Wilderness, by David Almond
Honor Books:
Many Stones, by Carolyn Coman
The Body of Christopher Creed, by Carol Plum-Ucci
Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, by Louise Rennison
Stuck in Neutral, by Terry Trueman

Winner: Monster, by Walter Dean Myers

Honor Books:
Skellig, by David Almond
Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger

New Books June 14, 2008

Got some new Teen books at the library today....hope you enjoy them.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Peeled by Joan Bauer
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Heavy Metal and You by Chrisopher Krovatin
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems by John Grandits

Graphic Novels/Manga
Manga Claus: The Blade of Kringle by Nathaniel Marunas and Erik Craddock
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty

Myspace/Our Planet: Change Is Possible by the Myspace Community with Jeca Taudte
Barack Obama: The Politics of Hope by William Michael Davis
Generation T: 108 Ways To Transform a T-Shirt by Megan Nicolay
The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon
Man vs. Wild by Bear Grylls

-Justin the Teen Librarian

Thursday, June 12, 2008

WANTED! Teen Book Reviewers

Want your voice to be heard?

Now's your chance at the Teen Zone blog...

We're looking for Cape May County teens who would like to participate and write book reviews for our blog. Feel free to choose any newer book you'd like....just read it and write up a short review and we'll post it here in the Teen Zone blog.

Not sure what book to review? Here are some new titles @ the Library that you may want to check out...
Graphic Novels
Thoreau at Walden by John Porcellino
Fall of Cthulu: The Fugue by Michael Alan Nelson

The Road of Bones by Anne Fine
When The Black Girl Sings by Bil Wright
Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson
Maddigan's Fantasia by Margaret Mahy
The Death of Jayson Porter by Jamie Adolf
Death In The Air by Shane Peacock
The Blue Star by Tony Earley
Click: One Novel Ten Authors by Various Authors
Anahita's Woven Riddle by Meghan Nuttall Sayres
The Earth, My Butt, and other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Red Spikes by Margo Lanagen
The Redheaded Princess by Anne Rinaldi
Cheater by Michael Laser


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Hello and I hope this post finds you well. It's my first post in this blog and I'd like to start out by talking about what I'll be using this blog for. Basically, I'm going to try to post something short every day, whether it be news about what's going on at the Cape May County Library or just neat things I find that you may enjoy. I'll keep you up to date with the new books at the library, all the cool teen programs we offer (such as the 2008 Teen Photography contest, the Writer's workshop, and our ongoing Game Nights), and some reviews of new books you'll find in the library.

Also, if you want to write book reviews for this blog, let me know! Read any new books we have at the library, write up a review, and send it to and I'll post it.

I hope you stay tuned for more! I really look forward to keeping in touch with you about everything going on with the Teen Zone at the Cape May County Library.

Have a wonderful day....

-Justin The Librarian