Born in London in 1929, Lynne Reid Banks soon found her life influenced by war. Banks and her mother fled London in 1940, during World War II, and settled in Canada for five years. It was during her teenage years in Saskatoon that Banks was exposed to the myths and legends of the Cree Indians. These stories would later inspire her to write her bestselling Indian in the Cupboard series. After returning to London, and completing university, Banks worked as a journalist and was sent to Israel on assignment, where she met her husband, and lived for nine years. Her experience in Israel led to the publication of two books: Letters to My Israeli Sons: The Story of Jewish Survival (1979) and Torn Country: An Oral History of the Israeli War of Independence (1982). Sherri Liberman’s biography successfully intertwines the story of Banks’ life with the history of the places she lived and shows how her writing was influenced by her surroundings and experiences. This well-researched biography includes an interview with Banks, a timeline, selected reviews, a glossary, and a list of recommendations for further reading. The popularity of the Indian in the Cupboard series will likely increase this biography’s appeal to young adult readers. Ages 11 – 14.
Alison Kelly holds a B.A. in American History from Northwestern University and an MLS from UCLA. She is a librarian at Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School.