The Indian in the Cupboard
is a very moving story about a boy named Omri who discovers he has a magical cupboard that can bring plastic toys to life.
In some places, the text seems a little racist, dealing mainly with stereotypes. The most noticeable occurance of this is Little Bull, who speaks in broken 'tv' English. e.g. "Me cold." However, it is not just the Indian (Native American) who is portrayed like this, but the cowboy as well. At first, this stereotypical way of portraying the characters jars a little, but you get used to it.
Putting any accusations of racism aside, this is a moving story. Omri must learn that these plastic figures he has brought to life are no longer just toys, but people. He must deal with the realities of finding them food, and keeping them a secret though he wants to boast to the world. As well, he must learn to deal with the realities of death, and how to mend a friendship that is tested as it has never been tested before.
This is not just a simple children's story. It holds important lessons about how we treat our fellow human beings, though the message is somewhat undermined by its clumsy racial stereotypes.The Indian in the Cupboard
is the first in a series, but it works well as a standalone novel. I probably will not read the others in the series, but I enjoyed this book on its own merits.