The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

The Indian in the CupboardPublished: 1980

Genre: YA fiction

Length: 181 pages

Setting: England, current with the book publication. The story never explicitly says the boys live in England, but there are several clues in the text (Omri’s name, he puts on a jumper) that place it in England.

Interest: It’s a classic kids book that I convinced Mr. Curiosity should be our read-before-bed book. I try to change up our read-alouds between a fantasy book and a more realistic fiction. The bonus of this book is, if he liked it, there are others in the series he might be convinced to read.

Summary: Omri’s brothers rescue a medicine cabinet from the trash and give it to him for his birthday. Turns out, when he locks plastic figurines in the cupboard, they come to life. Omri discovers this fact with an Indian named Little Bear. Once Little Bear is brought to life, Omri feels very responsible for his fate, providing food and shelter for him with the understanding that Little Bear is a real person and not just a toy. Omri shares his secret with his best friend, Patrick, who brings a cowboy (Boone) to life. Little Bear and Boone have to learn to live together amicably, even though they are enemies in their own time. Eventually, Omri decides it’s not right to keep Little Bear and Boone in their time, and turns them back into plastic to send the toys home.

Final thoughts: A fun little story that explores the importance of relationships without being too obvious about it. Mr. Curiosity really enjoyed listening to the story and was usually disappointed whenever I stopped for the night.

Title comes from: Little Bear, an Indian, comes to life after being locked in the cupboard with the magical key.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 8/100 in the Read-a-Latte Challenge, and an I in A-Z Reading Challenge (which takes me to 6/26).

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