Lynne Reid Banks - Shastrix Books

Lynne Reid Banks

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The Mystery of the Cupboard

The Mystery of the Cupboard

Lynne Reid Banks

12th November 2023

The fourth book in the cupboard series, and this one I remembered from my childhood as being my favourite.

Omri and his family have moved away from London to the countryside in the South West, after inheriting a house from a distant relative. And here we finally learn more about the history of the cupboard.

This is quite a shift in tone from previous books, with the action being mostly in the past and being communicated to the present. This makes for a more relaxing tale but also a more interesting, more detailed, and more contemplative story.

I still found it to be the best of the series, although in doing this re-read I have learned that there is a fifth book, which I’ve not previously read, so it will be fascinating to find out how the story continues.

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Secret of the Indian

Secret of the Indian

Lynne Reid Banks

27th August 2023

It’s probably thirty years since I read this third book in the series and I had no memory at all of what happens.

The story follows on immediately from the events of book two - The Return of the Indian - and so really just feels like the second act, as Omri and Patrick work to fix some of the damage done which maintaining secrecy.

I actually thought it worked better than book two, with the peril feeling more real, and us getting some more characters - particularly female characters finally showing up with some agency and character of their own. But I don’t think it can work alone, and so the reader really does need to read both books together.

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Return of the Indian

Return of the Indian

Lynne Reid Banks

29th July 2023

The sequel, which I’m revisiting after a likely 30 years, sees Omri once again court disaster by exchanging his small toys for real people in his magic cupboard.

I had barely any memory of the plot of this entry in the series - it introduces a lot more peril for a lot of characters, and also uncomfortable themes, some of which might need putting into context for a modern young reader.

There is acknowledgement of some racism, but with today’s lens, a decent amount gets through regardless.

Not quite as good as the first book.

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The Indian in the Cupboard

The Indian in the Cupboard

Lynne Reid Banks

29th December 2021

A recently rediscovered classic from my childhood, this is the story of Omri and his toy indigenous American, who comes to life when subjected to being locked in an old medicine cupboard with a magic key.

While it does feel a bit dated, and the historical accuracy feels quite dubious, it was still fun to read and experience a lot of plot details that I’d forgotten.

I’ve immediately bought the three out of four sequels I don’t already have, and plan to also revisit them (or I think read the final one for the first time) soon.

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Unreviewed books

Key to the Indian

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  2. Return of the Indian
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  4. The Indian in the Cupboard
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  6. Secret of the Indian
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  8. The Mystery of the Cupboard