San Benito County Free Library

About the Reviewer:  Kathy Larabell, Volunteer Book Reviewer and a member of the Friends of the San Benito County Free Library.

“I am an educator who recently retired from an extensive career in teaching.  Most of my teaching time as spent in middle school teaching language arts which I love.  Reading has been my passion along wih music and travel since I was a young girl.  I hope you enjoy these reviews and these wonderful, creative books.”


Spider Woman’s Daughter (Adult novel) by Anne Hillerman 

In her debut novel, Anne Hillerman continues the adventures of Leaphorn, Chee, and Bernie Manuelito, characters created by her father, Tony Hillerman.  The mystery focuses on the investigation of the shooting of a beloved officer.  As this man fights for his life, Bernie, who has been forbidden to work on the case, continues to investigate. 

Prior cases solved by Leaphorn and Chee appear to hold the reason for this assault and the identifying link that will lead to the shooter.  With occasional confrontations, the Navajo police work in conjunction with the FBI to solve this case and bring the perpetrator to justice.

Anne Hillerman’s book is filled with rich, Southwestern atmosphere and fast-paced action.  Tony Hillerman fans will welcome this opportunity to again spend time with Leaphorn, Chee, and Manuelito.


Hatchet (grades 4-7) by Gary Paulsen

This Newbery award winning book will intrigue even reluctant readers.  Brian, a 13 year old, is on his way to Canada to see his dad.  Brian is plagued by the thought of “The Secret” that he thinks is the key to his parents’ divorce.  After the pilot of Brian’s plane suffers a heart attack, Brian ends up stranded on an island.  This tale of survival and ingenuity is filled with action and told with descriptive detail.  Gary Paulsen has written many novels, and this is one of his best.


All in a Day (K-2) by Cynthia Rylant

The promise a day can hold is celebrated in this book.  Positive thoughts about life and making each day matter are found on every page. The black and white illustrations with pastel backgrounds are unique and help tell a positive tale that children and adults will enjoy.