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

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  61,681 ratings  ·  1,329 reviews
A youngman receives two presents that will change his life:a plastic miniature Indian that magically comes tolife inside a mysterious old cupboard. ...more
Hardcover, 181 pages
Published March 5th 1985 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers (first published 1980)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephanie
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 I can see where they're coming from, starting with the outdated term Indian, as opposed to Native American (or Iroquois, in this case).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.

However...it'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
...more
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.
Morgan
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
...more
Tortla
Meh. I don't remember this book much. I guess it was okay.
D.M. Dutcher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
...more
Angie
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
Emy
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
...more
Nikki
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
Sophie
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
Jessica
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.
Bookswithbrooke
Watch my review here! http://youtu.be/kQ7aw9GVHHw
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
...more
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
Karl
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
Logan
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
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
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
...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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Kathleen
I can see where this book is problematic for a lot of people - the stereotypical writing about the Indian Little Bear and the cowboy are cringe-worthy in so many instances. I was surprised to see that the copyright was as late as it was. Having said that, I think that every child dreams of having a toy come to life, but probably never thinks through the perils of being three inches tall in a giant world. I think the author does a superb job of showing the stress of looking after the miniature cr ...more
Pamela
SUMMARY: Indian in the Cupboard / by Lynne Reid Banks; illustrated by Brock Cole -- New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c1981 (227 Pages) SUMMARY: It all starts with a birthday present Omri doesn't even want - a small plastic Indian of no use to him at all. But when an old wooden cupboard and a special key bring the unusual toy to life, Omri's Indian becomes his most important secret: precious, dangerous, wonderful - and above all magical. But being responsible for another individual, especiall ...more
Amy
) Genre: Junior Book/Fantasy

2) Imagine locking a plastic toy in a cupboard and magically it comes to life! A young boy, Omri, befriends an Indian and a cowboy, Little Bear and Boone, when he does just this! Though it seems fun to meet a historical figure, Omri soon realizes that time have changed and it is difficult to accommodate the needs of someone from a different historical period. Will Omri decide to keep the toys “alive” or will he return them back to their plastic form?

3) Critique:

a)
...more
Joseph Rizzo
This was a very imaginative book. I think all children have at some point asked themselves what it would be like if their toys were alive and this is one potential scenario. Its one more take on this idea of things coming to life, such as Toy Story, etc...but this came first, and Omri gets to actually see and interact with the toy indian. Omri quickly changes his attitude of thinking of it merely as a plaything and then realizing that this is an actual person. He is thrust into the responsibilit ...more
Mark L.
This story amazed me as a child, it was one of my most favorite books, and it always made me wonder about what I would do if I ever found a cupboard like the one in the story. Of course, it is only natural for a child to want their toys to come to life and be able to talk to them and get to know them as though they were real living people. I never did pursue this vein of childhood dreaming in my writing, at least not to any extent I can identify right now. For me though, there are some things I ...more
Patrick
A fantastic idea for a story that is poorly executed. Toys becoming alive and interacting with their child owners to teach them lessons has become a Hollywood staple. The clever plot is not enough to overcome the stilted dialogue throughout the piece. The conversations are consistently painful and move in circles rather than advance the story into a new plan. The text is a debate, internally and externally, about what to do, not based upon actions. The side characters, the principal and Patrick, ...more
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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
More about Lynne Reid Banks...
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 Fairy Rebel

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