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The Secret of the Indian


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About the Author

Lynne Reid Banks was born in London in 1929. She was an actress in the early 1950s and later became one of the first two women TV News reporters in Britain. She is a best-selling author for both children and adults, and has written over thirty books, including The L-Shaped Room. Lynne Reid Banks has three grown-up sons and lives in Dorset and London with her sculptor husband, Chaim Stephenson.


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.)

Praise for The Indian in the Cupboard 'An assured piece of story-telling, well able to stand comparison with older classics." Times Educational Supplement "Enthralling and hair-raising reading." TLS "The Key to the Indian is a swiftly-moving, tightly-plotted, exciting, funny tale, which will keep the reader firmly hooked and frantically turning the pages." Carousel Praise for The Secret of the Indian "There have been many famous stories in which children's toys come alive: this book is in the same great tradition." School Library Association

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

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