The Indian in the Cupboard

By Lynne Reid Banks

Published: 1980

AR level: 4.6

AR points: 6.0

I suggest 2nd through 6th grade9780375847530_p0_v1_s600x595

I still remember my fifth grade teacher reading this novel to the class. Now, as I read it to a seven- and nine-year-old, I can witness how writing has changed in the past few decades. Yet, this novel is relevant and entertaining, with rich narratives and an idea that intrigues children to this day.

My children are registered Cherokee, so as I read the parts of the novel where “Little Bear” is featured, I asked myself if it would be written differently these days. Maybe. Maybe not. It certainly might be an interesting topic to discuss with a child or a class. But what Banks proves is that the magic of the cupboard is timeless, and the love of “his Indian” makes Omri a character with whom any child might connect through the thrill of bringing toys to life.

Description from B&N:

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.

Official movie trailer:

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