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Indian in the Cupboard Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Indian in the Cupboard Books

The Indian in the Cupboard (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Return of the Indian (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret of the Indian (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mystery of the Cupboard (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Key to the Indian (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Indian in the Cupboard book series is a wonderful series of children’s boos and low fantasy novels. It is written by a bestselling British novelist named Lynne Reid Banks. The series consists of five books in total released between 1980 & 1998. Its first book has the same title as that of the series and was released in 1980. It has illustrations by Brock Cole and Robin Jacques. The novel was adapted into a children’s movie in 1995 having the same name as the book. Piers Sanford was chosen to do the illustrations of the later books. After the immense success of the first volume, Lynne followed it up with 4 sequels. All of them were released in hardcover by the Doubleday Books and Avon Books publication. HarperCollins is the publisher of the paperback editions of the books. The series has been reprinted multiple times in different formats. Children aged nine and above are recommended best suited to read this series and enjoy. Each and every novel of this series revolves around a small boy named Omri. He discovers that the cupboard kept in his room has magical powers. It converts plastic toys kept inside it into real living beings. This new discovery resulted in Omri becoming friends with an eighteenth-century Iroquois chief called Little Bear.

Omri shares the magical cupboard’s secret with his close friend named Patrick and as the series proceeds further, they learn a lot more about the powers of the cupboard, like the power of transporting people through history and bringing them back. The series’ first book has received many awards and has also been praised and critiqued on the merits of its literary features. On one occasion, it was also recommended to be included in the primary school curriculum. The Kirkus Reviews has reviewed the book saying that it has an appropriate balance between the desire of children to play with small figures and being aware of the fact that those figures are not to be manipulated. The book was declared as the best book of the year by the NY Times in 1981 and was widely accepted by librarians and classrooms. Many teachers use it even today to teach novel reading to small children.

A very successful book of the Indian in the Cupboard series is known as ‘The Secret of the Indian’. It was released in 1989 and has illustrations by Ted Lewin, Piers Sanford, and Graham Philpot. The plot of the book begins by showing that Omri’s headmaster asks him to tell more about the prize-winning story about ‘tiny people’. He suspects that the story might actually be true because he had a previous encounter with such beings when Little Bear had come to the school with Omri. As the headmaster threatens Omri that he will find out the truth, Omri fears that the secret will get revealed to adults and they will try to alter history for their own benefit. Both Patrick and Omri agree that trying out magic has become very dangerous. They decide to put an end to it forever, but before that Patrick wishes to travel into the time of Boone.

Omri seems reluctant initially, but agrees to grant his wish. As he sends Patrick back in history, he mistakenly takes along the plastic figure of Boone in one of his pockets. This causes Boone to get knocked unconscious in the present time and his miniature form is brought forward in Patrick’s pocket in history. Fearing Boone would get crushed to his death, Omri comes and rescues him in time. A spell of magic revives Boone to his actual size and Patrick gets changed into a miniature form. Still unconscious, Boone is taken to a local doctor by Patrick and one of Boone’s close friends. While Omri tries to collect all the injured tiny Iroquois, Patrick’s cousin Emma catches him red-handed. So, he is forced to tell her about the magic’s secret. She agrees to keep the secret to herself on the condition that she gets to bring a plastic man of her choice to life. Omri agrees to this condition and while trying to bring back Patrick, he drags a tornado into his room. This causes chaos in the neighborhood and no one knows what is going on. Omri’s headmaster lurks outside Omri’s house to find out what he is up to, but he gets hit by debris and loses a part of his memory. After managing to get hold of things, Omri locks the magic key in a safe-deposit box and hopes to not open it forever.

Another exciting book of this series is called ‘The Mystery of the Cupboard’. It was first published in 1993 and features the same set of characters as in the previous book. The story begins by depicting that Omri’s family moves to Dorset after their house gets destroyed by the tornado. They inherit a house owned by Omri’s great-great aunt. During the repair work on the house’s roof, the repairmen find a mysterious box and a journal and hand it over to Omri. He finds the journal labeled as ‘The Account’. It was written the great-great aunt, Jessica Charlotte, just before her death. As Omri begins to read the contents of The Account, he learns that Jessica possessed a rare gift that she used to tell people’s fortune. As Omri continues to read, he comes to know about a set of precious earrings that were stolen during Jessica’s time.

The Account also tells how the cupboard was made and how it got the magical powers. Suspecting that the lost earring might be in the box and thinking that the Key might be able to open it, Omri rushes back to his hometown to get the key from where he had hidden it. After opening the box, Omri finds 5 people who were brought back to life by Jessica with the help of the magic key. It is also revealed that the precious earrings were stolen by Bert, one of the people found in the box. When Bert realizes of his evil deed, he promises to return the earrings when he is sent back to his time, thereby correcting his mistake. While all this is going on, Omri’s father goes home to find the cupboard, the key, and the small plastic figures in Omri’s room. He puts Little Bear’s plastic figure in the cupboard and locks it with the key. He becomes frightened to see Little Bear has turned into a living being and decides not to open the cupboard. But, when Little Bear calls out Omri’s name from inside, he calls Omri to explain to him the whole matter. Omri opens the cupboard, introduces Little Bear and starts telling the entire story to his father from scratch.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Indian in the Cupboard

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