The Indian in the Cupboard

by Lynne Reid Banks

Paperback, 2003



Call number




HarperTrophy (2003), Edition: Reissue, 181 pages


A nine-year-old boy receives a plastic Indian, a cupboard, and a little key for his birthday and finds himself involved in adventure when the Indian comes to life in the cupboard and befriends him.

Media reviews

… The book objectifies American Indians and is replete with stereotypical attitudes. Little Bear, the Indian, speaks "Hollywood Indian," for example, "`You touch, I kill,' the Indian growled ferociously." Although this book is popular with children and educators, its offensive treatment of
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American Indians makes for inappropriate reading.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member ladypp
Omri recieves a plastic Indian, Little Bear, and a magical cupboard for his birthday. The action figure comes alive and Omri learns the responsibility that accompany friendship and love. There is some objections to the Indian character in the book as some think it is degrading; however, the author
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of the book makes no attempt to make Little Bear a realistic Indian figure. The letting go of those we love is a very real lesson to the middle school children who this book is appropriate for. My son realized that one day he would be "let go" by me and commented on it.
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LibraryThing member Kace
I remember that this book was well written enough to freak me out a little, and it wasn't even a horror book. I was a sensitive child. I paused for a little bit before playing with doll house stuff...then got over and just embraced and loved the story. Another one I want my kids to read.
LibraryThing member stipe168
classic, but it may just be for boys. do girls want to find indians in the cupboards? don't answer that.
LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
This is the classic story about how Omri puts a plastic figure of a Native American in a cupboard that turns out to magic. The figure comes to life, and Omri grows up as he takes care of it- even his friend Patric grows up (a bit). Eventually, of course, he sends the Native American (who turns out
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to be a real person) back to his own time.
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LibraryThing member name99
I listened to this on the strength of it being a kids book that is frequently recommended, but which I never read (or even heard of) as a kid.

It's not bad, and I can see why it appeals both to the target audience and to their parents. It does a nice job of keeping the story going, and of treating
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various moral issues decently but in a non-preaching fashion. However I guess the gap between me and a ten year old is just too extreme because I was never riveted, and I feel no drive to listen to or read the successor novels.
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LibraryThing member dylangoeagles
A good book about a miniature indian who causes trouble that is not so miniature.
LibraryThing member dmfox
Who can resist little people?! Who can resist magic - especially when it involves a key much like the one in your parents' junk drawer? Seriously, there are some real ethical questions in this book on top of the history and humor. Our 9-year-old is eating up the fact that he recognizes some of the
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pieces of the Indian's life from what he has learned at school. He is also exercising that incredible sense of right and wrong that 9-year-olds wrangle with frequently. I suspect our daughter is just enjoying the imagery. What great pictures you can make in your mind of the little longhouse. It isn't a huge step from the fairy houses she has been known to make!
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LibraryThing member HollyinNNV
I read this book aloud to my ds. He loved the book so I have to give it five stars. The book answers the age old question, "What would happen if my toys came to life?" The author explores the question in a deep yet authentic manner. She explores the ethics of life. She introduces the idea of
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freedom and the concept of what makes life worth living. However, she does it in a fun, fascinating way that even a boy of eight can enjoy.

I think that this is a fabulous book. It offers adults and children a pleasant diversion. I highly recommend it.
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LibraryThing member christivance
The adventures that Omri gets to experience in this book is any young boys fantasy. It all starts with an old cabinet and a "plass-tick" indian that Omri gets for his birthday. He is not really overly pleased with either gift but soon discovers there is more to both of them than he ever imagined.
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His birthday gifts end up being more amazing and entertaining than ever before. He discovers that when he puts his indian into the cupboard and locks it with his grandmother's old key, the indian comes alive. Although he is very demanding, Little Bear becomes someone special to Omri. The adventures they share range from gathering supplies for his longhouse, making fire, finding a woman indian, to becoming bloodbrothers with a cowboy named Boone. I enjoyed this book and will be reading the sequels. I like how Omri had some moral dilemmas and decisions to make in this book. A lot of great questions arose within myself so I would be very interested in reading this to students and seeing where this fantasy novel takes them.
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LibraryThing member jessicariddoch
P6 Both
the Main character is a Boy
this is the story of what happens when a boy uses a small cupboard (mogical) to animate one of his toys.
It is funny thoughfull and a good read. I fell that this is best aimed at boys as this would interest them where many of the books arround do not
LibraryThing member alcrivello
Clashing of cultures, I would say so! How Omri, a boy today, and Little Bear, an Iroquois, span time and place to learn about how the other one lives.
LibraryThing member LyzzyBee
Acquired via BookCrossing 25 Oct 2009 - picked up from the KGC, originally from an American BCer

This classic about a magic cupboard that will turn plastic figurines into real people and creatures can be read just as a wonderful story, but it's also all about how to be a good friend, knowing what is
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the right thing to do, looking after people, etc. I'd forgotten the lovely levels of detail in the book and so enjoyed reading it again after many years.

I'll return this to the Kitchen Garden Cafe to find another reader... of whatever age!
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LibraryThing member autumnreads
A wonderfully, imaginative story about a boy and magic cupboard that brings a small, plastic Indian toy to life. The adventure begins and so does Omri's need to keep safe the secret of this cupboard, as well as the secret of the Indian. A classic tale that will remain a favorite. I still remember
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when my fifth-grade teacher read this book to the class every day after lunch. I was captivated along with everyone else. And, we were all relieved to know that Banks went on to write sequels. Highly recommended and confident kids will love it.
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LibraryThing member ShortyK
The Indian in the Cupboard, is the story of Omri, Little bear and the magic cupboard. It was Omri's birthday when the Indian came to him, much to his dismay. He didn't want him. But with the magic of the cupboard that brings new life to the toy, he soon changes his mind. At one point the Little
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Bear gets hurt and in a split second decides to put someone else in the cupboard. This let little Bear have help and bandages the right sizes.

He wants to keep the cupboard a secret but more people learn of it. It is a fantasy with many magical things happening. It is also about living with the consquence of change.

I like the story and would recommend this book
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
This book sat on the book shelf for a long time and reading this delightful tale today felt as though I found a piece of chocolate in last Winter's coat pocket.

I marvel at the creativity that went into the concept of a young boy who is given an old cabinet and a key. When his friend gives him a
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plastic Indian toy as a birthday present, he locks the toy in the cabinet.

Surprised at hearing noises emanating from the cabinet, upon opening the door, a tiny Indian is found alive and kicking with all his might.

The spunky Indian is quite demanding while brandishing his teeny knife and stubbornly pouting. Chaos ensues as the young man tries to hide the secret while meeting the needs of his new found friend.

Reading this book was wonderful fun. Recommended to anyone who needs a smile on a rainy day.
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LibraryThing member ZaBu1120
The Indian in the cupboard was a good book and greatly resembled the movie, which i personally like.
LibraryThing member silly_tine
This book is an interesting look at what happens when something that seems like it would be the coolest thing can turn out to not be so fun once reality hits. It is also interesting to see the empathy that Omri has for these small beings and how he tries to care for them and show Patrick how to
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care for them too. It also explores the dynamics of their friendship and touches lightly on the familial interactions between son and parents and brother to brother.

While this is a book about boys, the story is not for boys alone. Girls will enjoy this story about a 'magical' experience. Boys will definitely love this and may even try locking up their action figures in every cupboard in the house to see what happens. It's a quick and interesting read for those who are easily distracted.
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LibraryThing member pmullins
I can't believe I didn't discover this book as a child. This is such a great read! It has so many different elements and is a really adventurous way of introducing a whole new culture to a young reader!
LibraryThing member CatheOlson
It’s not that Omri didn’t appreciate his best friend Patrick’s birthday present. He was really very grateful . . . sort of. It was, without a doubt, very kind of Patrick to give him anything at all, let alone a secondhand plastic Indian that Patrick didn’t want anymore . . . but when Omri
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toss the Indian into the cupboard that his brother found in an alley and locks the door with a special key . . . well, that Indian goes from being the dullest present in history to the most exciting thing that has ever happened to Omri! This book is just one adventure after another. . . . you just never know what’s going to happen next.
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LibraryThing member AllisonHood
I like this book and enjoyed reading it to my children because it show what happens when something that seems like it would be the coolest thing can turn out to not be so fun. It also demonstrated empathy. I also like that it touches on family and how to take care of one another and how to
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interact. This is a good read
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LibraryThing member Audacity88
Brilliant both as a children's book and a coming of age novel. Although it's low fantasy, it feels more like science fiction in drawing out the consequences of an interesting piece of technology. Omri's actions and character transformation are very believable.
The only part of the book I didn't
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enjoy was Patrick's betrayal, and Omri's quick acceptance of his actions. In fact, for all of the times Omri threatened to knock someone's teeth out, I would have thought he'd have tried it at least once.
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LibraryThing member hatease
A young boy finds a toy Indian in the cupboard. He goes to sleep and the next morning the toy is alive. The toy warns the boy not to put him in the cupboard again. The story goes through many adventures between Omri, the young boy, and making sure the Indian does not harm them.
Learning about
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Native American culture.

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LibraryThing member AshRyan
I remember liking these books when I was a still holds up pretty well, but Frank Oz's movie version is actually better!
LibraryThing member Khoffy
This series is such a fun and easy ready. It's a nice story about learning the lesson that sometimes what you wish for isn't always as great as it seems. A young boy finds a magic cupboard that will bring one of his small toys to life and spends an entire series dealing with the consequences and
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trying to protect the little human. Very entertaining read!
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LibraryThing member ctmsanvu
The book Indian in the Cupboard is about a boy named Omri who gets a cupboard and a plastic Indian for his birthdat. Omri goes through a box full of old keys, finally Omri finds the right key to fit the cupboard's key hole. It turns out that the key was his greatgrandmother's. Omri puts the plastic
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Indian into the metal cupboard and locks the cupboard door with his greatgrandmother's key. The next day Omri finds out that the plastic Indian had turned into a real minuture indian, the indian is named Little Bear. Little Bear and Omri become best friends, eventually Patrick , Omri's best friend finds out that Omri has a magical cupboard that turns plastic toys into real people. Patrick takes advantage of Omri and turns a plastic cowboy into a real cowboy, without Omri's permission. Will Little Bear and Boone, thecowbow get along or will they become enemies and kill each other.?

I give the Indian in the Cupboard ***** because it has a lot of adventures and excitement. I really like the plot of this story, it sems like the plot just keeps capturing the readers attention. I also like how Little Bear and Boone are almost the size of his finger. I would love to be Omri right now because he gets to turn plastic toys into real things. Also who wouldn't want a best friend who is the size of your finger, it would be awesome. Lynne Reid Banks is a really good author who writes really well! She makes reading fun and interesting. her writing is so realistic and I hope to read the two other books in the series another day.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

7.5 inches


0380600129 / 9780380600120
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