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The Secret of the Indian


The adventure deepens . . .

In The Return of the Indian, Omri found he could transport himself and his friend Patrick back in history to the dangerous days of his miniature companions. Now, in the secret of the indian, Patrick time-travels back to the rough-and-tumble frontier age of his cowboy friend, Boone. When he returns to the present day, he's accompanied by a disastrous bit of Texas weather that devastates half of England.

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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.)

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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