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The Indian in the Cupboard (The Indian in the Cupboard #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  69,184 ratings  ·  1,434 reviews
"Skyhigh fantasy that will enthrall readers."-- "Publishers Weekly." A young man receives two presents that will change his life: a plastic miniature Indian that magically comes to life inside a mysterious old cupboard.

"Best novel of the year (1981)."-- "The New York Times."

Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award, California Young Reader Medal, Pacific Northwest Young Re
Mass Market Paperback, 229 pages
Published January 21st 2003 by HarperTrophy (first published 1980)
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Mackenzie Blumhagen Yes. In some, if not many editions, there are sketched illustrations of the characters and scenes in the book. Don't let this fool you though, there…moreYes. In some, if not many editions, there are sketched illustrations of the characters and scenes in the book. Don't let this fool you though, there aren't very many. (less)

Community Reviews

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Apparently many people feel that this book is full of racist stereotypes. I can see where they're coming from, starting with the outdated term Indian, as opposed to Native American (or Iroquois, in this case). Not only that, but the Indian in the book, Little Bear, speaks in very broken English, and he has a seemingly simplistic, stereotypical outlook.'s hard to be mad at a book for being racist when it portrays the Indian as the wisest, bravest, most hard-working character in the b
This book, oh man. This was the book I used to read and re-read and re-re-read as a kid. That book that the cliche reader goes through so many times that he wears out the cheap mass-market paperback and has to beg his parents to buy him another copy from the Scholastic book order forms from school ('membah dem?).

Now I get to share it with my daughter, and rediscover how grand an adventure it truly is.

OH! And anyone who hasn't read it, and is scanning down through the reviews to see if it is rig
Kacey Powell
I read this as a kid and I just re-read it last week b/c I'm teaching it to my 4th graders. I love it for the vocabulary (wielded, lithely, haughtily) that I get to expose them to. I love it for the well-defined characters. Yesterday my students wrote from the perspective of Little Bear and they loved it. (Me cold. Who this big man? What want?) And I love it for the fantastical story. Great book for kids and fun to read again as an adult.
What a racist, dull, unimaginative book. Full of stereotypes and negative images, this book should be taught only to teach young people how NOT to write books. I only read this book for a grad class and would never recommend it to anyone. First, the writing is cliched and boring. Secondly, the way Lynne Reid Banks has portrayed the Indian (apparently, Little Bear is Iroquois) is racist and offensive. Little Bear only speaks in grunts and incomplete sentences, and the cowboy Boone wants only to k ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
When Omri, a young English boy, puts a toy Indian in a medicine cabinet and turns a special key, the Indian magically comes to life. But the Indian is not merely a toy come to life, but a real person with a history who has been transported into Omri’s time, in miniature form. Complications arise when Omri’s thoughtless friend puts his toy cowboy in the cupboard to see if they will fight. The two boys then endanger the small people by taking them to school.

Unlike other fantasies which create an e
D.M. Dutcher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meh. I don't remember this book much. I guess it was okay.
Joanne G.
My thought, when reading The Indian in the Cupboard, was that I wish I'd read it as a child to fully enjoy it. I was surprised when I got ready to write this review to see from Goodreads that the book was published in 1980! I would have pegged the story as something written in the '50s or '60s. I realize I've been conditioned by society's sensitivities, view of political correctness, and critical spirit of looking at everything as though it contains hidden hatred; I had to fight my initial inter ...more
Abigail Larsen
I’m all for good literature that stimulates the reader’s imagination. So it’s maybe a little surprising that I wasn’t overly fond of the classic Indian in the Cupboard.

Omri is disappointed with his birthday gift. Frankly, a plastic Indian doesn’t hold much appeal to him. But everything changes when he gives the Indian a home inside a medicine cabinet and turns what appears to be a magic key. The Indian comes alive as Little Bull, a young brave with an exciting history. Omri is delighted with the
Rebecca Reid
Hmmm. I am not sure where to put this in terms of "stars." I just reread it. I loved it as a child. I remember learning about Iroquois Indians and Longhouses and being fascinated. I loved the magical adventure when a toy comes to life. For those that do not know, young Omri locks his plastic toy American Indian in the cupboard and the Indian comes to life! His friend does the same to his plastic cowboy, and the result is disastrous.

As an adult, I'm incredibly uncomfortable with the basic errors
The Indian in the Cupboard is a very moving story about a boy named Omri who discovers he has a magical cupboard that can bring plastic toys to life.

In some places, the text seems a little racist, dealing mainly with stereotypes. The most noticeable occurance of this is Little Bull, who speaks in broken 'tv' English. e.g. "Me cold." However, it is not just the Indian (Native American) who is portrayed like this, but the cowboy as well. At first, this stereotypical way of portraying the character
Emily Valenti
When Omri’s friend Peter gives him a small second-hand plastic Red Indian for his Birthday he is not overwhelmed. He is however pleased with the present from his brother, an old cupboard found in the alley, because he likes ‘the fun of keeping things in’ cupboards and manages to find a fancy old key for it in his mother’s box. Yet his initial satisfaction is nothing compared to the excitement and wonder that follows when Omri places the Indian in the cupboard, turns the old key and finds out jus ...more
کاملا فراموش کرده بودم که تو چهارده سالگی...در مورد کتاب هایی که میخوندم یه سری یاددداشت می نوشتم...
پیدا کردن این یادداشت ها...خیلی حس خوبی بهم داد...مثل این بود که خودم رو تو چهارده سالگی ملاقات کنم...
این کتاب رو تو همون دوره ی زمانی خوندم...و حرفای منِ چهارده ساله میگه کاملا مجذوب این کتاب ساده ی فانتزی شدم...
چیزی که توجهم رو جلب کرد آخر یادداشتم بود که این طور نوشتم... که امری کلید رو برای همیشه به مادرش پس میده...ولی شاید روزی دوباره...
این طرز نوشتم میگه...مدت ها با خودم فکر کردم آیا ممکنه ا
Golly, I must have read this book a hundred times. There was just something so magical, so appealing about it! I hope kids today are still reading, I think it's timeless.
Omri gets a plastic Indian from his friend Patrick for his birthday; he also gets and old cupboard from his brother and a key from his mom. Together these items make magic. When Omri puts the Indian in the cupboard and locks it the Indian comes alive. Suddenly he finds himself in possession of Little Bear an Iroquois brave who wants things and has to be taken care of. When Patrick finds out about Little Bear he wants his own and chaos ensues. Soon the boys realize that they have real people who ...more
It has been many years since I read this book in 5th grade, and I was a little worried that it was going to be some awful, racist book that made all "Indians" generic and fierce in a beast-like way. I'm still reeling from discovering how hard it was to read Little House on the Prairie, where I actually had to read aloud the words "the only good Indian is a dead Indian." But this book was *wonderful*! Banks presents The Indian and The Cowboy as real, multi-dimensional people responding as best th ...more
Reading these books again as an adult is kind of sad. Unlike some of the other children's books I've been rereading, they don't seem to have kept their magic, and I'm irritated -- of course -- by the stereotypical and rather racist portrayal of the Indian who Omri brings out of the cupboard. There is at least some engagement with the idea that such a man, brought out of the past as a plastic toy, wouldn't be a toy, and at least some indication that not all Indians would be the same (e.g. the arg ...more
Be Like the Squirrel, Girl
Oh man. I loved this book when I was a kid because the idea of bringing toys to life is pure magic. But it was painful for me to read this aloud to my child. There are some cringe-inducing stereotypes and language, which of course I didn't remember from childhood. The Iroquois man speaks in broken English, the cowboy sounds like a drunken hick, and the Iroquois woman (who only appears briefly at the end), doesn't get a chance to speak at all. Also, I had to skip over many references to "scalping ...more
John Seo
The Indian in the Cupboard is a book about a boy called Omri receiving a cupboard from his brother at his 9th birthday. With it, he uses a key inherited from his great grandmother.Omri was unaware that the key was magical and it could bring inanimate objects alive. He puts a toy into the cupboard. Then the next day, he discovers that the toy has came alive!

After that, his best friend brings a toy cowboy called Boone to his house to check out the cupboard.Boone and Little Bear starts to fight and
This is a great book that I want to recommand to anyone. This is a fantasy which means not a book about real life but this book has the author's great imagination. Like the title, it's about the indian in the cupboard. If you put any plastic toys in the cupboard it all become real. The main character in this book is Omri and he got a cupboard for his birthday present. First he thought it's such a nothing but when he dicided to put a little indian that he got from his friend in his cupboard and l ...more
Another family read that was just so-so for me. It provided plenty of opportunities to talk about stereotyping and racism though.
Watch my review here!
Hey Readers! I found this old ugly book on the shelf and my mom convinced me to read it--even though I did not want to. The book was so old and the cover was even ripped. How could it be worth reading? Boy was I surprised! This book is a classic and also one of my favorites.This book has been popular for so long your mom or dad probably read it when they were kids!

If you are wanting a wild adventure where toys come alive this book is for you. Ther
Robert Kent
The Indian in the Cupboard is absolutely a classic and one of my favorite books from my own childhood. Having just told you that, I think you’ll agree that there’s little point in my bothering with a review. I loved this book as a kid, I read all of the sequels, and having only just rediscovered it as an adult, I found I loved it no less for having grown up (sort of). I’ve tried a couple of times to watch the movie version, but I just can’t get into it—probably because they cast American actors ...more
I'll admit it. I have a tendency to judge a book by it's cover. When a teacher- former or otherwise- hands me a book that looks like I wouldn't like it (especially a classic even though I've always loved every classic I've ever looked at) I'm always apprehensive. A perfect example of this is "The Call of the Wild" terrific book. I gave it 4 stars (now revised to five) because my teacher had me read it. If I had read that book alone I would have loved every second. So I give this book 5 stars (w ...more
Justina Servantes
The Indian in the Cupboard is about a boy who is given a small cupboard by his mother for his birthday and his friend gives him a toy plastic Indian figure. He decides to the put the Indian in the cupboard and locks it and the next thing he knows the Indian has come to life and he realizes anything he puts in the cupboard will come to life once he locks the cupboard and then unlocks. The characters are well developed Omri, young boy, learns that the power he holds with this cupboard is larger th ...more
Tanya D
Just read this to my seven year old and we both liked it. I appreciated that the author made the main character smarter than most kids in other books. For example, Omri does experiments on the cupboard to see how it works, he asks all sorts of practical questions and has to deal with lots of real consequences. At times this made the story a little sad, but I appreciated the realism in a magic story. I thought it was much better written that other similar books. The only weird part is reading the ...more
Chrissy Jeon
WARNING : Contains Spoilers!!!

Omri gets cupboard and plastic Indian on his birthday. He put the Indian inside of cupboard and locked it. The Plastic Indian became alive. His best friend, Patrick, finds out that the cupboard's magic and put the Plastic Cowboy inside. Alive Plastic Indian and Cowboy fought and caused some trouble. Omri thought it's best to send them back to their original place, so he put the cowboy and Indian into cupboard and made them into Plastic.

The conflict was resolved. T
Lanae Schaal
I read this book as a light read to jump start my near dead reading habits. It did exactly what I wanted. The narrative achieved its purpose of giving me enough conflict/suspense to keep turning the pages. I know that it is definitely below my reading abilities and feel a bit guilty for reading a children's book. However, it served the purpose and has interested me in reading again. Since it was such a quick read I get the immediate gratification of saying I've read an entire book. It did have s ...more
Kimberly Tardy
It's Omri's birthday and his brother and his friend have gotten him gifts that don't seem like the best gifts in the world. His brother gave him a cupboard that he found in an alley. And his friend, Patrick, gave him a plastic Indian figure. There's nothing too magical about these items and Omri is less than interested in them until he finds a key among his mother's extra keys that fits the cupboard.

He finds that when he puts a plastic figure in the cupboard and then locks the cupboard with that
Ms. Myers
Omri isn't impressed by the little plastic indian that he gets for his birthday,until his plastic Indian comes to life all caused by a cupboard and a key. Omri doesn't know what to do with his feisty new friend and they together take a long adventure getting to know each other.
I think this book is very interesting because,it has a lot of adventure and can get you to picture and visualize things that are happening in the story.
The title of this book is Indian in the cupboard the author or the
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Lynne Reid Banks is a British author of books for children and adults. She has written forty books, including the best-selling children's novel The Indian in the Cupboard, which has sold over 10 million copies and been made into a film.
Banks was born in London, the only child of James and Muriel Reid Banks. She was evacuated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada during World War II but returned after
More about Lynne Reid Banks...

Other Books in the Series

The Indian in the Cupboard (5 books)
  • The Return of the Indian (The Indian in the Cupboard, #2)
  • The Secret of the Indian (The Indian in the Cupboard, #3)
  • The Mystery of the Cupboard (The Indian in the Cupboard, #4)
  • The Key to the Indian (The Indian in the Cupboard, #5)
The Return of the Indian (The Indian in the Cupboard, #2) The Secret of the Indian (The Indian in the Cupboard, #3) The Mystery of the Cupboard (The Indian in the Cupboard, #4) The Fairy Rebel The Key to the Indian (The Indian in the Cupboard, #5)

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