The Indian in the Cupboard

The Indian in the Cupboard

by Lynne Reid Banks

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Full of magic and appealing characters, this classic novel takes readers on a remarkable adventure.

It's Omri's birthday, but all he gets from his best friend, Patrick, is a little plastic Indian toy. Trying to hide his disappointment, Omri puts the Indian in a metal cupboard and locks the door with a mysterious skeleton key that once belonged to his great-grandmother. Little does Omri know that by turning the key, he will transform his ordinary plastic Indian into a real live man from an altogether different time and place! Omri and the tiny warrior called Little Bear could hardly be more different, yet soon the two forge a very special friendship. Will Omri be able to keep Little Bear without anyone finding out and taking his precious Indian from him?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307576248
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 07/07/2010
Series: Indian in the Cupboard Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 126,888
File size: 5 MB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Lynne Reid Banks is a best-selling author for children and adults. Her classic children’s novel ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ has sold nearly six million copies worldwide. She was born in London in 1929 and worked as an actress, writer and TV news reporter. Lynne has written thirty books: her first, ‘The L-Shaped Room’, was published in 1960. She now lives in Dorset, where she continues to write. Lynne says that writing for children comes much more easily than writing for adults.

Read an Excerpt


Birthday Presents    

It was not that Omri didn't appreciate Patrick's birthday present to him. Far from it. He was really very grateful--sort of. It was, without a doubt, very kind of Patrick to give Omri anything at all, let alone a secondhand plastic Indian that he himself had finished with.  

The trouble was, though, that Omri was getting a little fed up with small plastic figures, of which he had loads. Biscuit tinsful, probably three or four if they were all put away at the same time, which they never were because most of the time they were scattered about in the bathroom, the loft, the kitchen, the breakfast room, not to mention Omri's bedroom and the garden. The compost heap was full of soldiers which, over several autumns, had been raked up with the leaves by Omri's mother, who was rather careless about such things.  

Omri and Patrick had spent many hours together playing with their joint collections of plastic toys. But now they'd had about enough of them, at least for the moment, and that was why, when Patrick brought his present to school on Omri's birthday, Omri was disappointed. He tried not to show it, but he was.  

"Do you really like him?" asked Patrick as Omri stood silently with the Indian in his hand.  

"Yes, he's fantastic," said Omri in only a slightly flattish voice. "I haven't got an Indian."  

"I know."  

"I haven't got any cowboys either."  

"Nor have I. That's why I couldn't play anything with him."  

Omri opened his mouth to say, "I won't be able to either," but, thinking that might hurt Patrick's feelings, he said nothing, put the Indian in his pocket, and forgot about it.  

After school there was a family tea, and all the excitement of his presents from his parents and his two older brothers. He got his dearest wish--a skateboard complete with kickboard and kryptonic wheels from his mum and dad, and from his eldest brother, Adiel, a helmet. Gillon, his other brother, hadn't bought him anything because he had no money (his pocket money had been stopped some time ago in connection with a very unfortunate accident involving their father's bicycle). So when Gillon's turn came to give Omri a present, Omri was very surprised when a large parcel was put before him, untidily wrapped in brown paper and string.  

"What is it?"  

"Have a look. I found it in the alley."  

The alley was a narrow passage that ran along the bottom of the garden where the dustbins stood. The three boys used to play there sometimes, and occasionally found treasures that other--perhaps richer--neighbors had thrown away. So Omri was quite excitedas he tore off the paper.  

Inside was a small white metal cupboard with a mirror in the door, the kind you see over the basin in old-fashioned bathrooms.  

You might suppose Omri would get another disappointment about this because the cupboard was fairly plain and, except for a shelf, completely empty, but oddly enough he was very pleased with it. He loved cupboards of any sort because of the fun of keeping things in them. He was not a very tidy boy in general, but he did like arranging things in cupboards and drawers and then opening them later and finding them just as he'd left them.  

"I do wish it locked," he said.  

"You might say thank you before you start complaining," said Gillon.  

"It's got a keyhole," said their mother. "And I've got a whole boxful of keys. Why don't you try all the smaller ones and see if any of them fit?"  

Most of the keys were much too big, but there were half a dozen that were about the right size. All but one of these were very ordinary. The unordinary one was the most interesting key in the whole collection, small with a complicated lock part and a fancytop. A narrow strip of red satin ribbon was looped through one of its curly openings. Omri saved that key to the last.  

None of the others fitted, and at last he picked up the curly-topped key and carefully put it in the keyhole on the cupboard door, just below the knob. He did hope very much that it would turn, and regretted wasting his birthday-cake-cutting wish on something so silly (or rather, unlikely) as that he might pass his spelling test next day, which it would take real magic to bring about as he hadn't even looked at the words since they'd been given out four days ago. Now he closed his eyes and unwished the test pass and wished instead that this little twisty key would turn Gillon's present into a secret cupboard.  

The key turned smoothly in the lock. The door wouldn't open.  

"Hey! Mum! I've found one!"  

"Have you, darling? Which one?" His mother came to look. "Oh that one! How very odd. That was the key to my grandmother's jewel box, that she got from Florence. It was made of red leather and it fell to bits at last, but she kept the key and gave it tome. She was most terribly poor when she died, poor old sweetie, and kept crying because she had nothing to leave me, so in the end I said I'd rather have this little key than all the jewels in the world. I threaded it on that bit of ribbon--it was much longer then--and hung it around my neck and told her I'd always wear it and remember her. And I did for a long time. But then the ribbon broke and I nearly lost it."  

"You could have got a chain for it," said Omri.  

She looked at him. "You're right," she said. "I should have done just that. But I didn't. And now it's your cupboard key. Please don't lose it, Omri, will you?"  

Omri put the cupboard on his bedside table, and opening it, looked inside thoughtfully. What would he put in it?   "It's supposed to be for medicines," said Gillon. "You could keep your nose drops in it."  

"No! That's just wasting it. Besides, I haven't any other medicines."  

"Why don't you pop this in?" his mother suggested, and opened her hand. In it was Patrick's Indian. "I found it when I was putting your trousers in the washing machine."  

Omri carefully stood the Indian on the shelf.  

"Are you going to shut the door?" asked his mother.  

"Yes. And lock it."   He did this and then kissed his mother and she turned the light out and he lay down on his side looking at the cupboard. He felt very content. Just as he was dropping off to sleep his eyes snapped open. He had thought he heard a little noise . . . but no. All was quiet. His eyes closed again.    

In the morning there was no doubt about it. The noise actually woke him.  

He lay perfectly still in the dawn light staring at the cupboard, from which was now coming a most extraordinary series of sounds. A pattering; a tapping; a scrabbling; and--surely?--a high-pitched noise like--well, almost like a tiny voice.   To be truthful, Omri was petrified. Who wouldn't be? Undoubtedly there was something alive in that cupboard. At last, he put out his hand and touched it. He pulled very carefully. The door was shut tight. But as he pulled, the cupboard moved, just slightly.The noise from inside instantly stopped.   He lay still for a long time, wondering. Had he imagined it? The noise did not start again. At last he cautiously turned the key and opened the cupboard door.  

The Indian was gone.

Customer Reviews

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Indian in the Cupboard 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 187 reviews.
caleb_h_WV More than 1 year ago
This book is about a boy named Omri and he an Indian and a cupboard for his birthday. Some of the characters in the story are Omri, Patrick, and Omri's two brothers. Omri puts the Indian in the cupboard overnight and then in the morning he heard something in the cupboard and he opened it and he saw the Indian alive. Omri keeps it to himself that his Indian came alive overnight in the cupboard. He builds Little Bear a longhouse to live in. He takes little bear and his horse outside for a ride. Little bear gets hurt outside and then Omri goes inside and he brings the chief alive so he can help Little Bear. Then the chief dies and then little bear takes charge of being chief. Omri didn't want to tell anyone about his cupboard turning plastic toys into real toys. His friend Patrick who gave him the toy and one day he slipped out that he was real. Patrick didn't believe him that he was real and then Patrick wanted to go to Omri's house and see himself. Omri took him to his house to see. When Patrick saw it he wanted one then. Omri didn't want him to have one because he was afraid that Patrick would tell everyone. Omri had to go downstairs for his mom. When he came back up Patrick had made a cowboy real. There is a good ending to the book but ill let you read the book so you can see what the ending is. Now you know some things about the book The Indian in the Cupboard. If you chose this book I hope my review as been helpful to you.
emma-bear_ More than 1 year ago
The Indian In The Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, was a good book. Yes, it was small for a book for a teenager like myelf to read, but it was still very good. It had a lot of emotion and tension, and proof that everyone is important and special in their own way. I want to find the publishers or Lynne Reid Banks, or whoever decided to have the British to American words dictionary. I hate it when you read a book with British people, and you can't understand any of it. This is a good book to read if you need to do a report for school. Overall, I think anybody between the ages of nine and fourteen would like this.
will18 More than 1 year ago
The book The Indian in the Cupboard by Brock Cole is a great book that takes place in the 1930s. Here are some events from the story. For Omri's birthday he got a cupboard with a key that can bring plastic to life. Omri brought a plastic Indian to life named Little Bear. Little Bear wanted to make a longhouse so Omri got him some supplies to make it. Once he makes it Omri's best friend Patrick finds out about Little Bear and gets really jealous so he found a plastic cowboy and brought it to life and his name was Boone. One day Omri decided to bring Little Bear and Boone to school, he gave them both to Patrick and he put them in his pocket but he tripped and thought he had killed Little Bear and Boone. Omri took them after that and went to art class and Boone drew a picture so small that the art teacher was amazed and she thought Omri had drawn it. Late at night Omri and Patrick decided to watch a movie about cowboys and Indians, the cowboys were winning a fight so Little Bear got so mad and shot Boone with an arrow. In the morning Little Bear was complaining because he really wanted a wife, so they went to the shop and bought a plastic Indian to bring to life, but when Omri got home he could not find the magic key and he found out it was under the floor boards because his dad had changed the floor boards. Omri sends down Little Bear to get the key but there is a rat! Down there! The Indian in the Cupboard has some positives and some negatives. One positive is that Omri brings a plastic Indian to life, that is positive because that makes the book very exciting. Another positive is that Omri's friend Patrick really wants to bring a toy to life so he puts a cowboy in the cupboard, I liked that because Little Bear would now have a friend his size. One last positive is that they could not ell anybody about Little Bear or Boone. One negative thing in the book is that the brought a toy doctor to life to help Little Bear get healed, but they did not show the doctor that many times. I also didn't like that Patrick told the principal about the toys because it ruined their secret. Lastly I think they should have made Little Bears wife speak more because she only spoke once or twice. The writing style of the author is very interesting. This book is very easy to read. The author (Brock Cole) uses 1st person. 1st person makes the book better because if the author told the story then you might not understand Omri's feelings that well. Most of the words in this book are very easy to read. All of the topics that Brock Cole writes are very clear. This book has some recommendations and some not recommendations. I would recommend this book because it is very interesting how Omri brings a plastic Indian to life. I also like how Patrick brings a cowboy to life and it becomes friends with Little Bear. I would also not recommend this book because the whole book is pretty much in Omri's house. Here are some similar novels to this book. They are actually all in the same series, the 2nd book in the series is called The Return of the Indian, the 3rd book in the series is called The Secret of the Indian, the 4th book in the series is called The Mystery of the Cupboard, and lastly the 5th book The Key to the Indian. The Indian in the Cupboard was a great book.
Jordan_C_WV More than 1 year ago
Indian in the Cupboard Book Review The main idea of this book is that a boy (Omri) gets a plastic Indian from his friend (Patrick) and a cupboard from his older brother (Gillon), for his birthday. Omri puts the Indian in the cupboard and he comes to life. Omri ends up taking care of the Indian and it becomes a great adventure for him. Lynn Reid Banks possesses the rare ability to blend the drama of everyday life with an utterly believable fantasy in this book. It's amazing how the indian comes to life from being locked in a cupboard. The cupboard is of everyday life and the living minature indian is apart of the utterly believable fantasy. This book is a really good book. I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes adventure books or to anyone who likes to read in general. I rate this book a four star book. =)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The is a great book. I read it as a kid and now I get to read to my children and they love it to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly a clasdic shoyld be remebered by all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is an out standing book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the book and the movie of the indian in the cuboard
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this story Omri gets a cupboard from his brother who didn't have enough money to buy him a gift. He picked it up in the alley next to their house,Omri was very interested in it.He also got a wooden indian figure from his best friend Patrick who painted it himself.The last gift is a key that was his great grand mother's key to her jewelry box.That night he set the cupboard on his dresser and he put the indian in the cupboard and he locked it with the key.A couple of hours later Omri woke up to a loud noise in the cupboard, the magic was just beginning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the story because of the expressions they used and of the bravery Little Bear showed. Also Little Bear was a very smart Indian. Omri was a boy that wasn't very happy when he saw the gift Patrick brought him. I liked the story a lot. I thank the auther for writing this story for kids to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
name99 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 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.
LyzzyBee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Acquired via BookCrossing 25 Oct 2009 - picked up from the KGC, originally from an American BCerThis 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 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!
krizia_lazaro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The Indian in the Cupboard" was a great children's story. I did not expect that the "makings" of the cupboard is not that great. This book lacks a strong story plot. It feels like it was not well thought of and is lacking in substance. Even my sister can write a better story than this one. I expected a lot from Lynne Reid Banks because the first two books were exceptional. This one has no climax and is boring. A child would choose playing with real Indian dolls than read this one. If you want to maintain your image of the cupboard - something good and fun - in your head then do not read this one. I was truly disappointed.
AllisonHood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 interact. This is a good read
ZaBu1120 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Indian in the cupboard was a good book and greatly resembled the movie, which i personally like.
CatheOlson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 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.
HollyinNNV on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 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.
Khoffy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 trying to protect the little human. Very entertaining read!
pmullins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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!
ShortyK on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 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
autumnreads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 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.
silly_tine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 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.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 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.
AshRyan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remember liking these books when I was a still holds up pretty well, but Frank Oz's movie version is actually better!