The program designates books for people across the state to read and to discuss with each other, as a way to keep Garden State residents "on the same page," said Scott Rodas, program coordinator for the Ocean County Library.

This year's book selections include: "Their Eyes Are Watching God," by Zora Neale Hurston, for adults; "So Yesterday," by Scott Westerfeld, for young adults; "Whales on Stilts," by M.T. Anderson, for middle school students; and "Bear Snores On," by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman, for young children.

One Book New Jersey, currently in its fourth year, also features book discussions, author visits, children's programming and musical presentations such as Birnbaum's performance.

"It was a celebration of One Book New Jersey and the Harlem Renaissance period," Rodas said of the performance. "The crowd seemed to enjoy it."
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