Memory Wipe: The Indian In The Cupboard brought race issues to kid lit
The internet is choked with nostalgia for the youth-oriented entertainments of the not-too-distant past. With Memory Wipe, The A.V. Club takes a look at some of our formative favorites with clearer eyes and asks that all-important question: Were they really that great to begin with?
Growing up, I loved Lynne Reid Banks’ The Indian In The Cupboard series, because of what I viewed as its analytical approach to magic. When Omri, the young boy at the center of the tale, realizes he can bring his toys to life through the use of a magic key, he reacts the way any kid would: He experiments.
Or so I remembered. In actuality, Omri learns the rules fairly quickly (lock a toy in a container once to bring it to life, lock it a second time to send it back; only plastic items turn real), but once he does, he’s more …