Lynne Reid Banks was born in London. She spent the war years in Canada, and on her return trained at RADA and spent 5 years acting in repertory before joining ITN as the first British woman TV reporter. In 1962 she emigrated to Israel where she married, became an English teacher and had three sons. She returned to England with her family in 1971. She has written 40 books for adults and young readers including The Indian in the Cupboard, which sold over ten million copies worldwide. She lives in Dorset and London, travels extensively and writes full time. To visit Lynne Reid Banks. website click here
Gr 6-9-- Banks has completely rewritten her 1973 novel (S. & S.; o.p.), tightening the narrative, making the descriptive passages and dialogue more accessible for today's readers, and removing some racist expressions, as well as references to smoking marijuana. The basic plot remains the same: spoiled, rich Lesley, 14, moves with her parents from Canada to an Israeli kibbutz because her father feels that the family has lost any sense of what it means to be Jewish. They leave behind Lesley's brother Noah, a family outcast because he has not only married his Catholic girlfriend, with whom he has been sexually active, but also because he has converted to her religion. A large part of the novel--set during the days before, during, and after the 1967 Six-Day War--chronicles Lesley's gradual, difficult adjustment, and her growing friendship from afar with Mustapha, an Arab boy. The story is fleshed out with numerous details about kibbutz life, farming, and military maneuvers, which bring a sense of realism. The style is more polished, with the characters' actions, rather than the author's voice, revealing motivation. Some Hebrew and Yiddish words are transliterated more accurately, and Lesley now speaks to Mustapha in his language, thanks to her Arabic lessons, which lends a greater air of authenticity. The glossary is more comprehensive, but readers won't need to refer to it often. A map is a welcome new addition. Where the first edition is popular, purchase of this one is recommended; libraries needing additional historical fiction will want to consider it as well. Its theme of peace is as timely today as when it was first published. --Ellen Fader, Westport Public Library, CT
"The author writes with a subtle blend of emotional honesty and eloquent restraint." The Guardian"