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Secret of the Indian

Secret of the Indian

4.4 19
by Lynne Reid Banks, Ted Lewin (Illustrator)

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In this sequel to The Indian in the Cupboard and The Return of the Indian, a terrible battle leaves many of Little Bear's warriors wounded. Omri must find medical help while protecting the secret of the magic cupboard.


In this sequel to The Indian in the Cupboard and The Return of the Indian, a terrible battle leaves many of Little Bear's warriors wounded. Omri must find medical help while protecting the secret of the magic cupboard.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this sequel to The Indian in the Cupboard and The Return of the Indian , Omri and Patrick are hailed as heroes after they ward off a burglary by a gang of hoodlums. Luckily for the boys, none of the adults take much notice of the miniature bullet holes in the walls, and with the secret of the magic cupboard intact, they are free to secure medical aid for Little Bear's band of wounded Indian braves. During the melee, Patrick finds a way to send himself back in time to the Wild West, and brings back not only cowboy Boone's girlfriend Ruby Lou for a miniature wedding, but a tag-along cyclone that almost destroys the city. Though the story will delight readers with the same richness of character and deft storytelling as its predecessors, the action scenes and cupboard time-travel sometimes stumble in an effort to top one another, obscuring the simple wonder and detail that distinguished The Indian in the Cupboard. Still, this fantasy-adventure is gracefully enhanced by a powerful concern for the care of all human beings, no matter how small. Ages 7-12. (Oct.)
Children's Literature
Omri and his friend, Patrick, return in this third installment of "The Indian in the Cupboard" series. The story begins where the second book left off so readers will be confused if they have not read book two. This time, Patrick ends up going back in time to nineteenth century Texas and meeting new characters. Much of the book explains the antics of Omri and Patrick's cousin, Emma, as they try to hide Patrick's whereabouts, as well as the existence of tiny people—wounded Indians from the second book's adventure and the nurse who is caring for them—in Omri's bedroom. Emma is a smart, spunky, sensible girl who is an enjoyable addition to the story. Little Bear, Omri's Indian friend, plays only a small role in this book. Since Patrick ends up being three inches tall while in Texas, Banks has the chance to explore a giant world from perspective of one of the child protagonists. She is also able, again, to raise the moral dilemma of interfering in other people's lives, even if well-intentioned. A good read for youngsters, especially for fans of "The Indian in the Cupboard" series. Readers of this series may also enjoy Elizabeth Winthrop's The Castle in the Attic and The Battle for the Castle, which have a very similar narrative style and theme. 2004 (orig. 1989), HarperTrophy/HarperCollins, Ages 9 up.
—Kathryn Erskine
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-- It takes a cyclone to bring things to an acceptable conclusion for Omri, his friend Patrick, and the plastic figures turned into people from the past who inhabit Omri's room with the help of magic key and a special cupboard. Readers of The Indian in the Cupboard (1985) and Return of the Indian (1986, both Doubleday) will want to know what happens, especially to Little Bear; his wife, Bright Stars; Boone, the softhearted cowboy who still likes his ``likker''; and the indefatigable nurse, Matron. The action picks up where The Return of the Indian ended. A tiny army has frightened away the ``skinheads'' who tried to rob Omri's house. The boys are left to explain to Omri's parents the tiny bullet holes and other damage. Complications multiply when Patrick is sent back to Boone's time, Omri's school principal tumbles into the secret, and Boone and his girlfriend are stuck in the present. For all the action, the pacing of this book is slowed down because of the several shifts in point of view and time. For example, as the tension builds over what to do about Little Bear's wounded comrades, the story switches to Patrick, who is coping with life in Boone's wild west. The cyclone from Boone's time is a too convenient deus ex machina that drives all thoughts of ``little people'' from the adults' minds and causes enough confusion and damage to let the boys cover their tracks and protect their friends from the past. Although not as tightly plotted as the earlier books, fans will want to read the conclusion of this popular, well-written series. --Amy Kellman, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
From the Publisher
"A fitting conclusion to a well-loved series."—Horn Book

An American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, Great Stone Face Award.

Children's Literature - Annie Laura Smith
Omri and Patrick ward off an attempted burglary in Omri's home. Explaining the results of this event to Omri's parents is virtually impossible and adds to the boys' problems. Patrick time-travels back to the Wild West and the difficult frontier days of the miniature cowboy, Boone. Patrick brings back to the present time not only Boone's girlfriend Ruby Lou for a miniature wedding but also devastating Texas weather. The theme of caring for others as shown in the earlier two books continues in this book. Several shifts in point of view and time require close attention to the story to keep pace with the action. The stories in this series are developmental and should be read in order of their publication. The first story in the series was The Indian in the Cupboard. The first sequel was The Return of the Indian. The sequel which follows this book is The Mystery of the Cupboard. A "Contents" page explains the progression of the stories. The narratives are supplemented by illustrations. Reviewer: Annie Laura Smith

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Indian in the Cupboard
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.42(d)
870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

When Omri's parents drove home from their party, his mother got out in front of the house while his father drove around the side to put the car away. The front-door key was on the same key ring with the car key, so his mother came up the steps and rang the bell. She expected the baby-sitter to answer.

There was a lengthy pause, and then the door opened, and there was Omri, with Patrick just behind him. The light was behind him too, so she didn't see him clearly at first.

"Good heavens, are you boys still up? You should have been in bed hours ag--"

Then she stopped. Her mouth fell open and her face drained of color.

"Omri! What--what--what's happened to your face?"

She could hardly speak properly, and that was when Omri realized that he wasn't going to get away with it so easily this time. This time he was either going to have to lie like mad or he was going to have to tell far more than he had ever intended about the Indian, the key, the cupboard, and all the rest of it.

He and Patrick had talked about it, frantically, before his parents returned.

"How are you going to explain the burn on your head?" Patrick asked.

"I don't know. That's the one thing I can't explain."

"No, it's not. What about all the little bullet holes and stuff in your parents' bedroom?"

Omri's face was furrowed, even though every time he frowned, it hurt his burn.

"Maybe they won't notice. They both need glasses. Do you think we should clear everything up in there?"

Patrick had said, "No, better leave it. After all, they've got to know about the burglars. Maybe in all the fuss about that, they won't noticeyour face and a few other things."

"How shall we explain how we got rid of them-the burglars, I mean?"

"We could just say we burst in through the bathroom and scared them away."

Omri had grinned lopsidedly. "That makes us out to be heroes."

"So what's so bad about that? Anyway it's better than telling about them. Patrick, who had once been quite keen to tell "about them, now realized perfectly clearly that this was about the worst thing that could happen.

"But where is the wretched baby-sitter? Why didn't sh come? How dare she not turn up when she promised?"

Omri's father was stamping up and down the living room in a fury. His mother, meanwhile, was holding Omri aroun the shoulders. He could feel her hand cold and shaking righ through his shirt. After her first shocked outburst whe she'd come home and seen him, she'd said very little. Hi father, on the other hand, couldn't seem to stop talking.

"You can't depend on anyone! Where the hell are th police? I called them hours ago!" (It was five minutes, in fact.) "One would think we lived on some remote island instead of in London, the biggest city in the world! You pa their salaries and when you need the police, they're never there, never!"

He paused in his pacing and gazed around wildly. Th boys had put the television back and there wasn't much disorder in this room. Upstairs, they knew, chaos and endles unanswerable questions waited.

"Tell me again what happened."

"There were burglars, Dad," Omri said patiently. (This part was safe enough. "Three of them. They came through that window--"

"How many times have I said we ought to have lock .fitted? Idiot that I am! -- for the sake of a few lousy poundsgo on, go on

"Well, I was asleep in here--"

"In the living room? Why?"

"I -- er -- I just was. And I woke up and saw them, but the didn't see me. So I nipped upstair's and --"

His father, desperate to hear the story, was still too agitated to listen to more than a sentence of it without interrupting.

"And where were you, Patrick?"

Patrick glanced at Omri for guidance. Omri shrugged very slightly with his eyebrows. He didn't know himself how much to say and what to keep quiet about.

"I was-in Omri's room. Asleep."

"All right, all right! Then what?"

"Er -- well, Omri came up, and woke me, and said there were burglars in the house, and that we ought to ... er--" He stopped.

"Well?" barked Omri's father impatiently.

"Well . . . stop them."

Omri's father turned back to Omri. "Stop them? Three grown men? How could you stop them? You should have locked your bedroom door and let them get on with it!"

... They were nicking our TV and stuff!"So what? Don't you know the sort of people they are? They could have hurt you seriously-"

"They did hurt him seriously!" interrupted Omri's mother in a shrill voice. "Look at him! Never mind the interrogation now, Lionel. I wish you"d go and phone Basia and find out why she didn't come, and let me take Omri upstairs and look after him."

So Omri's father returned to the hall to phone the babysitter while his mother led Omri upstairs. But when she switched the bathroom light on and looked at him properly, she let out a gasp.

"But that's a burn, Ornri! How-how did they do that to you?"

And Omri had to say, "They didn't do it, Mum. Not that. That was something else."

She stared at him in horror, and then controlled herself and said as calmly as she could, "All right, never mind now. just sit down on the edge of the bath and let me deal with it."

And while she was putting on the ointment with her cold, shaky hands, his father came stamping up the stairs to say there was no reply from their baby-sitter's number.

"How could she not come?" he stormed. "How could she leave you boys alone here? Of all the criminally irresponsible-wait till I get hold of her-"

"What about us?" asked Omri's mother very quietly, winding a bandage around Omri's head.


"Us. Going out to our party before she got here."

"Well -- well -- but we trusted her! Thought she was just a few minutes late-" But his voice petered out, and he stopped stamping about and went into their bedroom to take off his coat.

Omri heard the light being switched on, and he bit his lips in suspense.

"Am I hurting, darling?"

He had no time to shake his head before his father burst back in.

"What in God's sweet name has been going on in our bedroom?"

Patrick, who was hanging about in the doorway to the bathroom, exchanged a grim look with Omri.

"Well, Dad--that's-- that's where the battle-- I mean, that's where they were, when we-caught them."

Meet the Author

Lynne Reid Banks is the bestselling author of many popular books for children and adults. She lives in England.

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Secret of the Indian 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book because it was a perfect mix of fantasy and realistic fiction. It was a well developed story as well. The book starts as Omri's parents return home. As they walk in they see their house was invaded. Omri and his best friend Patrick manage to get a vague explanation of what happened. Suddenly Patrick's cousin, Emma, comes to Omri's house the next day. Patrick then wants to be sent to Boone's time. Unfortunately, Emma discovers the Indian and the cupboard. Then Omri sees Boone, who was supposed to be with Patrick, is in Omri's house half dead! Meanwhile Patrick is in a desert in Texas and is as small as the plastic figures at Omri's house. He is brought to a saloon where he meets Boone's friend Ruby Lou. The next day Boone recovers but Omri must go to school. At an assembly, Omri must read his award winning story to the school. Afterward he is brought to the headmaster's office because the headmaster believes the story is true,'one day he saw Little Bear and Boone.' At that time, Patrick and Ruby Lou see a twister coming. At Omri's house, he is bombarded with questions. He goes to his room to bring back Patrick, but also brings back a cyclone from Texas that destroys Omri's room. After the twister leaves Omri is no longer getting question asked. Luckily, Patrick is brought back and the cupboard is safe. However, he doesn't find the key to the cupboard. Will he find it? I would recommend this book to any fantasy fans. This book is a great fantasy book. I would also recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books by Lynne Reid Banks.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
The Secret of the Indian picks up where The Return of the Indian leaves off. Omri and Patrick find that they can transport themselves back in time and go to the dangerous nineteenth-century world of the cowboy Boone. In the process, they are forced to share their secret with Patrick's cousin Emma, and all of England is threatened by a disastrous cyclone that Patrick brings back from the old American West. These books are exciting reading, but as is true in so many cases the sequels are never quite as good as the original. In addition, there is a fair amount of bad language, with the word "God" fairly frequently used as an interjection, lots of euphemisms, and even an instance or so in each book of the "h" word used as an exclamation. There are also several references to drinking alcoholic beverages. Do children really need to be reading about that? Furthermore, the attitudes and actions of the children are sometimes less than exemplary. I would not discount these books entirely, but I think that parents do need to be aware of the possible objections. My preference would be to do these as read alouds so that the offending portions could be omitted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love reading and this book I read in 1 day. If you have ever read The Indian in the Cupboard, The Return of the Indian, The Mystery of the Cupboard, or The Keys to the Indian, you will enjoy this book! I love this book, and I think the plot is enjoyable. Once I picked up this book, I could not stop reading it! This series of books, are some of the best books I have ever read. You will be very glad that you bought this book! (If you bought it)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What would happen if u put two of the same plastic figures in the cuboard and turned the key?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm on a mission to defend this book. I mean, what about national treasure? Or the mummy!!!!!!
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
Howdy, pardner! Giddyup and enjoy this time-traveling, tornado-making, havoc-creating tale. Join in the 3rd adventure that Omri has with his magic key that turns plastic toys into real things. This book starts at the precise moment that "The Return of the Indian" left off. The excitement builds when more humans find out about Omri's secret and when new toys are brought to life. There sure is a lot of chaos going on! The only con in this book is the extra bit of language used by the speaking characters. Overall, I did enjoy the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was so nice bescause he is a toy so he should get wrapped up andand go ro a new place
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever i have read all of em sucha good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The indian wont come real in this book because of the house they live in. This book is fiction. My teacher told me to rite this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so cool. I want the FULL verson of it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It reminds me of little bear from nick jr. Iburst into laughter when i heard that
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Little bear really?
Ricardo Cruz More than 1 year ago
omg best book evrrr
Nicole Snyder More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago