Monday, December 29, 2008

Teen Podcast Episode #3

EPISODE #3 of the TEEN PODCAST is here!

Starring Beth, Georgeanne, Kaitlyn, Brandon, and Justin The Librarian

2008 IS OVER, and what a year it was for Teen books. What was your favorite? Tune into Episode 3 of the Teen Podcast to find out what some of the teens in Cape May County thought was this year's best...(plus, as a special secret suprise...listen to Brandon and Justin the Librarian rap about the library)

Want to help us with our next podcast?

We need you to help review books, music, DVD's or just talk about some interesting things. We here at the library just want you to be part of the experience!

Please reply to me by email if you're interested in helping (or if you'd like just you can reply to this post)

Any teens ages 12-18 are welcome to join in.

(want to Download Teen Podcast Episode 3? Right click here and "Save Target As")

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from myself and the rest of the Cape May County Library Staff.

The Teen Zone Blog is going to be going on a little hiatus, but we'll be back on a regular basis on Monday January 5th 2009 with a BRAND NEW FEATURE for our Teen Zone Blog!

ALSO! Check back on Monday December 29th 2008 for a BRAND NEW END OF THE YEAR PODCAST!

Until then...
-Justin The Librarian

Monday, December 22, 2008

Teen Podcast Episode #2

EPISODE #2 of the TEEN PODCAST is here!

Starring: Kaitlyn, Georgeanne, Beth, and Justin The Librarian

In this episode, we pit PAPER TOWNS by John Green against THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins in our first ever BOOK THUNDERDOME!

(plus, we also get a bit sidetracked and talk about our favorite authors, PostSecret, and more)

Which one wins? Tune in to find out...

Want to help us with our next podcast?

We need you to help review books, music, DVD's or just talk about some interesting things. We here at the library just want you to be part of the experience!

Please reply to me by email if you're interested in helping (or if you'd like just reply to this post)

Any teens ages 12-18 are welcome to join in.

(want to Download Teen Podcast Episode 2? Right click here and "Save Target As")

Friday, December 19, 2008

Justin The Librarian's Best of 2008 Awards

Justin the Librarian presents...

BEST OF 2008 AWARDS! here's the deal:

-You have to pick something that's in our Teen Zone at any of the libraries in Cape May County. It doesn't matter if the book/DVD/CD is old or new. Just as long as it's in our Teen Room and you got a chance to read/watch/listen to the item in 2008!

(since we don't have a lot of CD's and DVD's in the Teen Room, you can pick anything you saw or listened to this year)

-What are some of your favorite books/DVD's/CD's of 2008? Reply to this post and let us know!

-Anything else you want to see at the Cape May County Library Teen Zone in 2009? Include that in your reply and we'll get right on it...

And now...for Justin The Librarian's picks:

Fiction: The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

Non-Fiction: John Lennon: All I Want Is The Truth by Elizabeth Partridge

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Need a new Teen Book to read?


is a really cool site I've been reading over the past few weeks. Its got lots of great reviews of the latest Teen books and so much more...

I highly suggest you check it out!

And for those of you who want to talk more about all things Teen Literature, head on over to their forums for more...



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Book Wednesday

Top 8 by Katie Finn
Vampirates Book Two: Tides of Terror by Justin Somper
Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez
If Only You Knew: A Hotlanta Novel by Denene Millner and Mitzi Miller
Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Never Mind The Goldbergs by Matthue Roth
Learning To Fly by Paul Yee
Kimani Tru: The Pledge by Chandra Sparks Taylor
Kimani Tru: If I Were Your Boyfriend by Earl Sewell
Kimani Tru: Fast Life by Cassandra Carter
Last Chance For First by Tom Hazuka
The Party Room: After Hours by Morgan Burke
The Party Room: Last Call by Morgan Burke
The Party Room: Get It Started by Morgan Burke
SummerHill Secrets 1 by Beverly Lewis
SummerHill Secrets 2 by Beverly Lewis
Pain and Wastings by Carrie Mac
Smack by Melvin Burgess

Gaba Kawa Volume 1 by Rie Takada
Serenity Volume 6: You Shall Love
Serenity Volume 7: Space Cadet Vs. Drama Queen
Serenity Volume 8: Sunday Best
Serenity Volume 9: Choosing Change

St. Dragon Girl Volume 1 by Natsumi Matsumoto
Mixed Vegetables Volume 1 by Ayumi Komura
Mixed Vegetables Volume 2 by Ayumi Komura
Death Note Volumes 3, 7, 9, 10, 11 by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshit Obata
(the rest of the Death Note series is on its way...I promise!)

Graphic Novels
Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others by Mike Mignola
Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom by Mike Mignola

Music CD's
Clichés by Nina Jankowicz
Devil's Snare by Lauren Fairweather
What About Myrtle by The Moaning Myrtles
Toilet Humor by The Moaning Myrtles

Books on CD
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Non Fiction
Anxiety Disorders by Sheila Wyborny


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Book Review: "Paper Towns" by John Green

After doing a podcast (which will be posted on December 22nd! -Justin) on the subject of Paper Towns, which I had not yet read though my friends insisted it was one of the best they've read in a while, I decided I should give it a try. In the beginning, it was a fast-paced, adventurous novel, with obvious foreshadowing suggesting a seperation between characters. The characters (or at least one of them) seemed to be a spontaneous whirlwind of fairly illegal excitement that seems slightly irrational.

The main character, Quentin, is surprised that the mysterious, amazing Margo chooses him to come with her on her night of mischief, revenge, and fun. He's not quite so surprised that she does not show for the next few days- it's not the first time she's gone off on some trip and came back with stories about running off to Mississippi, or the circus, etc. Only later, when a detective and her parents come to question Quentin, is the phrase "runaway" actually used. However, it becomes clear that Margo hasn't the happy lifestyle at home that she longs for, so of course it isn't the first time she's gone off on her own to get away from it. And it's also not the first time she's left vague clues as to her whereabouts. However, it is the first time she's left them for Quentin.The middle of the story is made up of Quentin's obsessive hunt for Margo. Becoming more and more worried, Quentin considers whether Margo's clues meant to lead him to her- or to her body. When he finally finds evidence of where she has gone, he is looking at a 19 hour drive, not accounting for traffic, to get to a fictional place in less than 21 hours. His best friends, Radar and Ben, plus Ben's girlfriend and Margo's best friend Lacey, insist, last-minute, on skipping their own graduation to come with Quentin. The next part of the story is made up of the four highly caffeinated teenagers on an extremely rushed road trip. This would be the hilarious part; however, I refuse to spoil the jokes for you, since some of them were indeed spoiled for me, which made them much less funny.

All in all, I don't think I have anything bad to say about the book, except that the middle was a downer. If you plow through it, you get right to the end, which is quite an upper. This book has many deep insights about people and personalities, particularly of teens. It's not a typical novel by any means, however it is what a typical teen novel should be.

Thanks to Beth S. for the Review!


Monday, December 15, 2008

PROMT-Free Online Translation
Need help with your Spanish homework? Want to learn how to say "I enjoy eggs for breakfast!*" in Russian? Try PROMT!

*(which, by the way, is "Я наслаждаюсь яйцами на завтрак!")


Friday, December 12, 2008

Book Review: "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

TWO REVIEWS! The first is by Miss Vicki, the Children's Librarian at the Cape May County Library. Up after that is a review from one of our local teens, Beth.


The Hunger Games Review by Miss Vicki
The Hunger Games is an intense work of teen survival fiction. Reading this book, I could instantly recognize the many sources that seem to have inspired this book: Survivor, various Greek Myths (particularly Theseus in the Labyrinth), Roman Gladiator games, and Battle Royale for those reading this over 17.

Katniss is a 16 year old girl living in the not so distant future, when the United States has been dismantled due to natural and manmade disasters and turned into a totalitarian* state called Panem. At the center of Panem is the Capitol, which 12 surrounding Districts. In an exercise to show their power over the 12 Districts, the Capitol requires one boy and one girl from every District to fight in the Hunger Games every year. This is a fight to the death, and only one person can be the winner. Katniss is to fight this year...

This book is brutal. The teens do die, some in horrible ways. Suzanne Collins doesn't mull on gory details, thankfully, but each death has an emotional resonance that really reflects the WRONGNESS of the situation. After all, not only are children and teens forced to fight each other, they are doing so live on television, while the whole country watches. It's entertainment to those not participating. This is reality tv of the future.

I enjoyed reading this book. It has many themes that can be discussed for hours, making it ideal for book clubs and schools, as well as individual reading. Katniss is a fully developed main character, and I enjoyed her perspective on the events that occurred within the book. She is not without flaws, but she is a very strong and resourceful person. I found myself admiring her survival intelligence. The world of Panem is very well describe and many images still haunt me. However, I did not know ahead of time that The Hunger Games is part of a planned trilogy, so I was really annoyed by the "To be continued" at the end of the book. There are a few loose ends and honestly, I have no idea where the second book is going to take me. I enjoyed The Hunger Games so much, though, that I'll definitely tune in for Part Two.

I was excited to read this book based on advance reviews. I wasn't disappointed one smidging bit. I devoured this book in 4 hours, then immediately convinced my 14 year old sister to start reading it. She read 50 pages in the time it took for me to have a cup of tea.

I recommend this for teens that enjoy books like The Giver by Lois Lowry, or any of the works I've mentioned above. It will also be appreciated by those who question the current Reality TV trend, or by those who enjoy survival fiction, like the Island series by Gordon Korman.

*totalitarian state-n. A form of government that controls many aspects of its peoples' lives, including what they should say, think and do. Freedom of speech doesn't exist in these governments.

**dystopian-adj. highlighting human misery. Dystopian books talk about poverty, oppression, and violence usually caused by a totalitatian state.

The Hunger Games Review by Beth S.
Okay, I'll admit it- the only reason I chose to read (or, rather, insisted the library get for me) the book 'The Hunger Games', by Suzanne Collins, was because Stephenie Meyer, best-selling author of the 'Twilight' series, highly recommended it. And I must say, although I read it in almost one shot, I wasn't quite as highly impressed as my favorite author had been. 'The Hunger Games' is a futuristic, somewhat sci-fi story.

It takes place in Panem, which is the country that has replaced the North American countries. Every year, the government of Panem puts on the show known as the Hunger Games, which can be compared to a demented form of the reality show 'Survivor'. 24 teens, between the ages of 12 and 18, are placed in the wilderness with only their own means of survival. The catch? Only one will be permitted to leave the arena. The rest must kill each other. The Games are supposedly put on to remind the people of Panem that the government has complete control over them, and can slaughter their children for no reason other than entertainment. I suspected an alterior motive, until I realized that the author would give none.

The main character, Katniss, was not chosen for the Hunger Games; her little sister, Prim, was. However, Katniss refused to see her little sister die in the Games, and volunteered in her place. Her opponent from her district is Peeta, a boy who once helped her out when she was hopeless and starving. In fact, the Games don't seem to be aptly named, since Katniss eats better during her time in the arena than she did when she was a child. Food even falls from the sky, if she's in bad need of it, if her sponsers are willing to send her some. Most of the contestents are used to surviving on very little food, since the government doesn't do much for the care of the poorer districts.The book isn't very eloquent. I could pick on sentence structure, but that doesn't honestly bother me too much. It's written more like a continuous train of thought than like a novel, which makes it simple to read, and somewhat fast-paced.

One of the main reasons this book disappointed me was because the characters weren't very developed. Several characters seemed to have a huge part in several chapters, or their mention seemed to be building up to a major part in the climax, only to have them die off shortly before the time when they could have had any excitement in the story. Also, the entire Games seem somewhat shallow, since beforehand a huge focus is on what the contestents in the Games will be wearing. Their stylists take a main part in the story, and while I suppose it's important to make a good impression on potential sponsers (so they might rian food on you later in the Game, when you need it), I would personally prefer my prep time learning the skills of my opponents, to see who will be a major threat, or developing a strategy for myself. The most disappointing part of the story was the end (although I'll try not to give too much away here, so it's not a spoiler). I honestly expected the main character to come up with some way so save most of the contestents-at least the ones that still had a heart. Some way to symbolicly overthrow the government. While the end does have a bit of a twist, the only thing done to show up the government is spur-of-the-moment, with no other choice really. (Any twists in the story are a bit anti-climactic- not nearly enough suspense for a survival story.)

Later, the victor of the Games is told he or she is still in danger, although none seems to rise. A possible love story crashes, and the story has very little resolution. The victor's reunion with family and friends isn't shown, obligations aren't paid off, there's no hint as to what the rest of their life will be like. No, the story ends almost in the middle of a scene, with a bold line proclaiming 'END OF BOOK 1.' I'm wondering what the heck they'll be able to put in book 2- the Games are finshed with, the only thing left is the resolution. While I'm curious as to what will be in it, I'm not exactly excited at the prospect of the second book (though I probably will insist on having it, again, and again finish it as quickly as the first.)

Thank you Beth and Vicki!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Photos and Video from the 2008 Holiday Celebration

Photos can be found at our Flickr site

Click Here For Our Flickr Photostream

and check out our YouTube site...

Click Here For Our YouTube site

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Book Wednesday

The Big Splash by Jack D. Ferraiolo
Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ray
Down Sand Mountain by Steve Watkins
The Heartbreakers: Love Rules by Pamela Wells
Here Lies Arthur by Phillip Reeve
Lost Time by Susan Maupin Schmid
Looks by Madeleine George
Cricket Man by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
Sucks To Be Me: The All True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire by Kimberly Pauley
The Sky Village by Monk Ashland
Lay Ups and Long Shots: A Short Story Anthology by Various Authors
A La Carte by Tanita S. Davis
The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde
The Other Side of The Island by Allegra Goodman
Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman
The Rise of the Black Wolf: Grey Griffins Book 2 by Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis
Black Rabbit Summer by Kevin Brooks
The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Suck It Up by Brian Meehl
Vampirates: Blood Captain by Justin Somper
Beneath My Mother's Feet by Amjed Qamar

Non Fiction
Russia: The Once and Future Empire From Pre-History to Putin by Phillip Longworth
Kim Jong II: Leader of North Korea
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: President of Iran

Vladmir Putin: President of Russia

Graphic Novels
Hellboy: Wake The Devil by Mike Mignola
Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci
Airhead by Meg Cabot
Extras by Scott Westerfeld

(Can't remember what a playaway is? Click here for the blog post on playaways...)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tomorrow night at the library...

Come watch The Nightmare Before Christmas at the library!

WHEN: December 10th 2008
TIME: Movie starts at 6pm
It's free!

Everyone is invited, so if you've got a younger sibling, bring them along!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cool website for the week of December 7-13
Build stuff and have fun!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Today at the library...

Holiday Celebration at the Library!

Teens! We need you to help volunteer with wrapping presents for local senior citizens and children...

Want to volunteer? We'll be wrapping presents from 2pm-8pm, so swing by the library and volunteer some of your time...

(I'll also be singing carols and holiday songs all day at the library, so come and join in!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tomorrow at the Library...

Holiday Celebration at the Library!

Teens! We need you to help volunteer with wrapping presents for local senior citizens and children...

Want to volunteer? We'll be wrapping presents from 2pm-8pm, so swing by the library and volunteer some of your time...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Book Wednesday

White House Autumn by Ellen Emerson White
Larry and the Meaning of Life by Janet Tashjian
Reaching Out by Francisco Jimenez
The Crushes: Love Struck by Pamela Wells
The Book of Jude by Kimberley Heuston
Love Is Hell by Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfield, and others

Non Fiction
Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics by Lynne E. Ford
The CIA World Factbook 2009
African American: A Concise History by Various Authors
How To Draw The Newest Pokemon
What's Your Red Rubber Ball? by Kevin Carroll
Rules of the Red Rubber Ball by Kevin Carroll

Graphic Novels
Runaways: Dead End Kids by Joss Whedon, Michael Ryan, and Christina Strain
The Invisible Man adapted by Rick Geary
Daniel X: Alien Hunter by James Patterson and Leopoldo Gout
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Wolves at the Gate by Joss Whedon and Others
Toto: The Wonderful Adventure Volume 1 by Yuko Osada
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness by Kou Sasakura
Nightmare Inspector Volume 1 by Shin Mashiba
Serenity #10: Girl Overboard by RealBuzz Studios

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Moaning Myrtles at the Library

I’ve uploaded pictures from the show to our Flickr account which you can view here:

I hope everyone had a great time at the show. I know I did.

Many thanks to The Moaning Myrtles for putting on a great show.