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The Mystery of the Cupboard

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In the fourth book in Bank's acclaimed INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD saga, Omri and his family move to an old farmhouse, where he finds an ancient notebook that reveals a family secret-and the mysterious origins of his magical cupboard. In the fourth book in Bank's acclaimed INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD saga, Omri and his family move to an old farmhouse, where he finds an ancient notebook that reveals a family secret-and the mysterious origins of his magical cupboard.


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In the fourth book in Bank's acclaimed INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD saga, Omri and his family move to an old farmhouse, where he finds an ancient notebook that reveals a family secret-and the mysterious origins of his magical cupboard. In the fourth book in Bank's acclaimed INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD saga, Omri and his family move to an old farmhouse, where he finds an ancient notebook that reveals a family secret-and the mysterious origins of his magical cupboard.

30 review for The Mystery of the Cupboard

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karina

    This was such a great surprise to read. I enjoyed it so much. The little plastic toys we were familiar with in 'The Indian in the Cupboard' made a small appearance at the end but it didn't take away from the story. I loved the backstory of the magical cupboard. The letter of admission his great-great aunt Charlotte wrote was like seeing someone of the past come back to life to admit their wrongs. I liked the dialogue between Omri and the people he interacted with. I liked how his parents were in This was such a great surprise to read. I enjoyed it so much. The little plastic toys we were familiar with in 'The Indian in the Cupboard' made a small appearance at the end but it didn't take away from the story. I loved the backstory of the magical cupboard. The letter of admission his great-great aunt Charlotte wrote was like seeing someone of the past come back to life to admit their wrongs. I liked the dialogue between Omri and the people he interacted with. I liked how his parents were involved.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hjwoodward

    I know this is a children's book and I know it is the fourth in a well-worn series, but goodness, I started it this morning and finished it this afternoon: Lynne Reid Banks is such a compelling writer! Her style doesn't grate, her characterisation of Omri and his brothers is spot on, and I just love the moral dilemmas she poses for the thinking youngsters! Wonderful stuff highly recommended for 6 to 10 yr old kids! I know this is a children's book and I know it is the fourth in a well-worn series, but goodness, I started it this morning and finished it this afternoon: Lynne Reid Banks is such a compelling writer! Her style doesn't grate, her characterisation of Omri and his brothers is spot on, and I just love the moral dilemmas she poses for the thinking youngsters! Wonderful stuff highly recommended for 6 to 10 yr old kids!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anne Hamilton

    Omri finally discovers the complex history of the cupboard which has the ability to bring plastic figures to life in this fourth book in the series. His parents decide to move to the country. At first he's appalled that they would uproot the family just because this mother has inherited a cottage from a distant relative. Then it's his father's turn to be appalled - the cottage is a centuries-old Dorset longhouse with a thatched roof. And the thatch needs repairing - urgently. And at phenomenal ex Omri finally discovers the complex history of the cupboard which has the ability to bring plastic figures to life in this fourth book in the series. His parents decide to move to the country. At first he's appalled that they would uproot the family just because this mother has inherited a cottage from a distant relative. Then it's his father's turn to be appalled - the cottage is a centuries-old Dorset longhouse with a thatched roof. And the thatch needs repairing - urgently. And at phenomenal expense. Gradually Omri comes to suspect that the house has something to do with the mysterious cupboard he's locked up in a bank for safekeeping after it causes so many terrible problems in a previous book. In a clump of thatch, he discovers a carefully wrapped journal written by a former owner of the house. As he reads the spidery brownish handwriting, he comes to understand the mind of an actress who lived by her wits and psychic abilities many years before. But who was so jealous of her sister that her revenge on her twisted to hurt those she loved. A nice wrap-up to the series. Even though, on reflection, the story is somewhat contrived to take account of all the events in the previous books, it doesn't really feel that way while reading it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kim Hampton

    The 4th book in the series, and it was just as riveting as all the rest! It explained about the cupboard, the key, and the magic. One of my all time favorite series!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rosa

    At last, after over a year, I'm finished! It was good. I'm always excited to meet new little people from different eras, and there were some good ones in here. The story of how Omri's great-great-aunt and first-cousin-twice-removed created the magical key and cupboard together was very far-fetched, of course, but also compelling and very moving. I do wish, however, that it was Omri's mother who got let in on the secret, not his father. It was her family, and I'm fond of her, too. Omri and Patrick At last, after over a year, I'm finished! It was good. I'm always excited to meet new little people from different eras, and there were some good ones in here. The story of how Omri's great-great-aunt and first-cousin-twice-removed created the magical key and cupboard together was very far-fetched, of course, but also compelling and very moving. I do wish, however, that it was Omri's mother who got let in on the secret, not his father. It was her family, and I'm fond of her, too. Omri and Patrick still don't have that much in the way of characters. They're pretty good, average kids, Patrick being impulsive and stubborn, and Omri...not being impulsive and stubborn. That's pretty much it. I hope Emma features in the next one, but I'm not counting on it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Allyn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It got weird really quick. We loved the first three, but this one put in a bunch of dark stuff that the series was fine without. To creepy for kiddos.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stef Rozitis

    I enjoyed this much more than I expected to. I think children's books used to be written more carefully and complexly even as recently as the 90s. Considering it was the fourth in a series (the first was even made into a movie) I really wasn't expecting much. Omri and his family are relatively believable- neither in perfect harmony nor really any of them bad people either. At times he madly loves his parents and other times he is angry and sullen. His brothers are difficult to get along with. Omr I enjoyed this much more than I expected to. I think children's books used to be written more carefully and complexly even as recently as the 90s. Considering it was the fourth in a series (the first was even made into a movie) I really wasn't expecting much. Omri and his family are relatively believable- neither in perfect harmony nor really any of them bad people either. At times he madly loves his parents and other times he is angry and sullen. His brothers are difficult to get along with. Omri's interest in the cupboard is compared at one point to a drug addiction, the overarching theme of the book is to try to understand and connect with instead of judging others. The character of Jessica who initially only comes through her journal is a case in point- she is the "wicked" great aunt, but her wickedness is largely constructed by her circumstances and people also experience her as warm, generous and charming. The character of Jenny, is another one who is constructed differently depending which context she finds herself in- one version of her would not be recognised by people in the other setting though both are authentic to who she is. Patrick seemed a really lovely character, I was sad the plot was so dismissive of him. One of the characters die (I won't ruin it by saying who) and that is treated well within the text. Many little historical titbits and details (as well as the way morals and social systems change over time) come through in the little people- few in number though they be. I suspect the character of "Little Bear" is slightly problematic in terms of being a white person's stereotypical view of a Native American ("Indian") but I think the ignorance here is not malicious at least. Kitsa's side-story also was very cool (and unfolded nice and slowly). While initially expecting to feel nothing more than mild irritation or smirking tolernace as I read the book, I was in the end actually intrigued. I will probably keep and eye out and if I see a cheap copy of any of the others read that too.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary Taitt

    This stupid website ATE MY REVIEW! I am so frustrated because I took all this time to write a nice review and goodreads ATE it and spat out an empty window. Now I have to start all over and I have other things to do so I cannot write as thorough a review. I liked this book very much and recommend it to anyone who likes children's literature and fantasy. It's spell-binding and enthralling. Unfortunately, it is a sequel, and I hadn't read the previous books, and it referred back tot hem constantly. This stupid website ATE MY REVIEW! I am so frustrated because I took all this time to write a nice review and goodreads ATE it and spat out an empty window. Now I have to start all over and I have other things to do so I cannot write as thorough a review. I liked this book very much and recommend it to anyone who likes children's literature and fantasy. It's spell-binding and enthralling. Unfortunately, it is a sequel, and I hadn't read the previous books, and it referred back tot hem constantly. This got very annoying, but I guess that's not the author's fault. She probably assumed people had read the earlier books in the series. Omri's Mom inherits a house that belonged to her Uncle Frederick, who she never knew. Turns out it previously belonged to his great great aunt who was the first to call back the little people. But her journal, which he finds as the roof is being rethatched, reveals a terrible secret or two.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Krizia Anna

    "The Indian in the Cupboard" was a great children's story. I did not expect that the "makings" of the cupboard is not that great. This book lacks a strong story plot. It feels like it was not well thought of and is lacking in substance. Even my sister can write a better story than this one. I expected a lot from Lynne Reid Banks because the first two books were exceptional. This one has no climax and is boring. A child would choose playing with real Indian dolls than read this one. If you want t "The Indian in the Cupboard" was a great children's story. I did not expect that the "makings" of the cupboard is not that great. This book lacks a strong story plot. It feels like it was not well thought of and is lacking in substance. Even my sister can write a better story than this one. I expected a lot from Lynne Reid Banks because the first two books were exceptional. This one has no climax and is boring. A child would choose playing with real Indian dolls than read this one. If you want to maintain your image of the cupboard - something good and fun - in your head then do not read this one. I was truly disappointed.

  10. 5 out of 5

    J.

    This book was just strange, and weird, and I didn't like the plot very much. This book was just strange, and weird, and I didn't like the plot very much.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I imagine it's challenging to keep such a unique construct alive and fresh across a series. This one sagged a bit in explaining the historical provenance of the cabinet and its magic, but as always, it comes alive when Omri encounters more of his "little people." I imagine it's challenging to keep such a unique construct alive and fresh across a series. This one sagged a bit in explaining the historical provenance of the cabinet and its magic, but as always, it comes alive when Omri encounters more of his "little people."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Boys and I both enjoyed this one--me quite a lot, especially in comparison to the last one. The novel explains the origin of the magic and the cupboard through a diary of Omri's great-grandmother's sister. Boys and I both enjoyed this one--me quite a lot, especially in comparison to the last one. The novel explains the origin of the magic and the cupboard through a diary of Omri's great-grandmother's sister.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Clara

    Very thrilling and entertaining. As the books go on they get better and better. A lot of suspense and adventure!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gena Ries

    I actually really loved how this last book tied everything together in this classic series. It was a fun read with our kids.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Buck

    A pleasant surprise. I thought I was largely done with this series, but my kids talked me into this fourth entry and I'm glad they did. A departure for the series, full of surprises and nicely written. A pleasant surprise. I thought I was largely done with this series, but my kids talked me into this fourth entry and I'm glad they did. A departure for the series, full of surprises and nicely written.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Christensen

    Somehow they just keep getting better and better. I'd say the first two are worth reading for the third and the first three are made all the more enjoyable by the fourth which seems to complete the whole series despite there being one more left. It was a fun concept to begin with but the later books start to explore the how of the cupboard and that is what I was really interested in! And this one takes the cake as far as world building goes. It was a slower start to the story but the execution co Somehow they just keep getting better and better. I'd say the first two are worth reading for the third and the first three are made all the more enjoyable by the fourth which seems to complete the whole series despite there being one more left. It was a fun concept to begin with but the later books start to explore the how of the cupboard and that is what I was really interested in! And this one takes the cake as far as world building goes. It was a slower start to the story but the execution couldn't have been better!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cathy aka The Attached Mama

    I read the first book in this series to the kids last year. Honestly, I had been saving that book for the kids for a long time. My third grade teacher read it to our class, and I remember LOVING it. It was one of the best memories from my childhood---sitting around listening to that book after PM-recess every day. And everyday ending on some huge cliff hanger that would have us begging for another chapter (She was a great teacher if you can't tell.) Anyway, I digress. suffice it to say that I ha I read the first book in this series to the kids last year. Honestly, I had been saving that book for the kids for a long time. My third grade teacher read it to our class, and I remember LOVING it. It was one of the best memories from my childhood---sitting around listening to that book after PM-recess every day. And everyday ending on some huge cliff hanger that would have us begging for another chapter (She was a great teacher if you can't tell.) Anyway, I digress. suffice it to say that I had been hoping to create these same wonderful memories with my OWN children. So I saved "Indian in the Cupboard" until my oldest was in 3rd grade. I read the first book in this series to them, which they LOVED too. However, reading it as an adult gave me a whole different reaction to the series I didn't like it as much as I did as a child. There were also a couple of moments which I disagreed with as an adult. (For example, the main character Omri has to sneak into his parents liquor cabinet to steel whisky for the cowboy. REALLY?) My kids loved it though, and had me read through the whole series. The second book in this series was just OK--not as good as the first. (But sequels rarely are.) And the third book in this series seemed more filler than plot. I was honestly ready to be finished with this series and did NOT want to read the last book. My children begged me though, so I gave in. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. It seems that Ms. Lynne Reid Banks got her inspiration back while writing this book! It had lots of twists and kept us entertained throughout.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tarissa

    Now THIS is how an author is supposed to write an epicly twisted tale that the reader just can't get enough of. Omri continues his adventures with his plastic-come-to-life friends in "The Mystery of the Cupboard". There are so many individual elements that had to come together throughout time to create the story of "The Indian in the Cupboard" as we know it. This book pieces the puzzling history together in a fantastic and almost unbelievable way. But once you read it, you'll realize there truly Now THIS is how an author is supposed to write an epicly twisted tale that the reader just can't get enough of. Omri continues his adventures with his plastic-come-to-life friends in "The Mystery of the Cupboard". There are so many individual elements that had to come together throughout time to create the story of "The Indian in the Cupboard" as we know it. This book pieces the puzzling history together in a fantastic and almost unbelievable way. But once you read it, you'll realize there truly was no other way that such a magical thing could happen. Plus, the ending is FABULOUS. Next up, I cannot wait to read the 5th and final book in the saga.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This was strange, not having the Indians in it as such! For me, the magic started to fade after I started book 3 - The Indian In The Cupboard is a timeless classic from my childhood, and I'm slightly disappointed in myself for reading the rest of the series and being let down! I see the whole point in trying to discover why the cupboard/key possess magic, I just can't help feeling, the author, however talented a writer she undoubtedly is, should've stopped after two. As kids books their great - but This was strange, not having the Indians in it as such! For me, the magic started to fade after I started book 3 - The Indian In The Cupboard is a timeless classic from my childhood, and I'm slightly disappointed in myself for reading the rest of the series and being let down! I see the whole point in trying to discover why the cupboard/key possess magic, I just can't help feeling, the author, however talented a writer she undoubtedly is, should've stopped after two. As kids books their great - but for a big kid like me, I think its a sign I need to get back to a proper adult novel!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    Sharkjumping. That'd make a great shelf name for book series that do so... This book just... felt ridiculous to me. Perhaps because I'm not the target audience anymore. For me, it was such a long stretch from putting a plastic Indian in a cupboard and having it come to life to this. Too much of a stretch. Sharkjumping. That'd make a great shelf name for book series that do so... This book just... felt ridiculous to me. Perhaps because I'm not the target audience anymore. For me, it was such a long stretch from putting a plastic Indian in a cupboard and having it come to life to this. Too much of a stretch.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Wayne D.

    This was my least favorite of the series. It got away from most of the characters that we know and followed a sort of mystery plotline that, most of the time, felt generally uninteresting. It wasn't terrible, and my kids still seemed to enjoy reading this at bedtime, but to me it lost much of what made the first books so likable. This was my least favorite of the series. It got away from most of the characters that we know and followed a sort of mystery plotline that, most of the time, felt generally uninteresting. It wasn't terrible, and my kids still seemed to enjoy reading this at bedtime, but to me it lost much of what made the first books so likable.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    I really did not like this book. I am just disappointed with it. This desires deserved a better ending book. The lady Charlotte's whole background was not interesting at all. Plus she was not a good person. Then she comes to life as a miniature!?? I really did not like this book. I am just disappointed with it. This desires deserved a better ending book. The lady Charlotte's whole background was not interesting at all. Plus she was not a good person. Then she comes to life as a miniature!??

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meadow Frisbie

    The story BEHIND the cupboard was very interesting. Just as interesting as the stories in the cupboard.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor

    I give this book a 3 because it kind-of caught my attention, but in the end it probably wasn't my favorite. But if you like journal entries and tiny talking figures, then go ahead and read this. I give this book a 3 because it kind-of caught my attention, but in the end it probably wasn't my favorite. But if you like journal entries and tiny talking figures, then go ahead and read this.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dayanara Ryelle

    This is a really good book, even with the characters of old missing. Learning how the cupboard and the key came to be was fascinating. After re-reading the first book, I also discovered that my childhood belief that it was a "small cupboard" (as the book said) was all wrong, and that it was more like a regular-sized medicine cabinet! (Surely no smaller than the one in my grandparents' bathroom.) One big question that bothers me (and I see it's been carried over to the final book)...why the change This is a really good book, even with the characters of old missing. Learning how the cupboard and the key came to be was fascinating. After re-reading the first book, I also discovered that my childhood belief that it was a "small cupboard" (as the book said) was all wrong, and that it was more like a regular-sized medicine cabinet! (Surely no smaller than the one in my grandparents' bathroom.) One big question that bothers me (and I see it's been carried over to the final book)...why the change to Little Bull? I know that Natives taking new names to mark significant moments in their lives means that the change could've been brought about by Little Bear becoming chief, but why wasn't that done all the way back in the second book, rather than arbitrarily popping up in the fourth? That (seeming) error and one more made me suspicious that books four and five might be ghostwritten: fortunetelling was illegal in England (and Great Britain later on) until the year after (view spoiler)[Jessie died (hide spoiler)] . As I suspected, fortunetelling was covered under witchcraft laws in their various forms until the final one was repealed in 1951. (more info) A woman who has lived in the UK all her life would not only know that, she'd probably use it to have (view spoiler)[Jessie put in jail a few times, thereby proving Maria's belief that she was "wicked". Or she'd talk about Jessie having to hide her work from the authorities. (hide spoiler)] Either way, someone who knew what they were doing wouldn't casually write that their secondary protagonist made a living telling fortunes without any significant legal repercussions.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melinda Christensen

    I had read only the first book of the series, which I remember with great fondness. I think I missed a lot in not reading the intervening three, because the book didn't make a lot of sense to me. When Omri first puts away the cupboard, he promises himself it will be forever, but something happens to change his mind. The family moves from the city to an old country farmhouse that his mother inherited from a great-great aunt. Omri finds a hidden notebook written by this Aunt Jessica Charlotte when I had read only the first book of the series, which I remember with great fondness. I think I missed a lot in not reading the intervening three, because the book didn't make a lot of sense to me. When Omri first puts away the cupboard, he promises himself it will be forever, but something happens to change his mind. The family moves from the city to an old country farmhouse that his mother inherited from a great-great aunt. Omri finds a hidden notebook written by this Aunt Jessica Charlotte when she was near death and which reveals how the cupboard and its magic were created. He thinks there was a wrong done in the past that he must make right, so he decides he must open the cupboard once more. As I understand it, we are acquainted with different characters than were made alive before. I don't know why Omri didn't tell his parents in the first place. With their wisdom, they could have helped him make the proper decisions. I love the drawings! They added tremendously to the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    I am a teacher that has had the privilege to loop up with my 4th grade class. We started this series as one should logically start, with the first book, The Indian in the Cupboard, and my students have been wrapped up in Omri and Patrick's world ever since. They are now in 5th grade, and have finished the fourth book in the series and are begging to read the fifth and final chapter. This story has everything - action, heart, imagination, mystery, you name it. I'm so glad I was able to read these I am a teacher that has had the privilege to loop up with my 4th grade class. We started this series as one should logically start, with the first book, The Indian in the Cupboard, and my students have been wrapped up in Omri and Patrick's world ever since. They are now in 5th grade, and have finished the fourth book in the series and are begging to read the fifth and final chapter. This story has everything - action, heart, imagination, mystery, you name it. I'm so glad I was able to read these stories with my students, and I cannot wait to send them each home with the entire collection at the end of the year. I hope their love of reading this book will continue to ignite the spark of love of reading into their later school years!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emerson

    I was obsessed with this book as a child. I lost my copy Of it, long after it had fallen apart and been taped back together from how often I read it. And I could never remember the name Of it, but after all these years I can across a copy Of it in a thrift store and recognized the cover immediately. This book holds up so well, even as it is technically a kids book. The story is so heartbreaking. It’s also probably why, to this day, I have an obsession with time travel books. This was the bluepri I was obsessed with this book as a child. I lost my copy Of it, long after it had fallen apart and been taped back together from how often I read it. And I could never remember the name Of it, but after all these years I can across a copy Of it in a thrift store and recognized the cover immediately. This book holds up so well, even as it is technically a kids book. The story is so heartbreaking. It’s also probably why, to this day, I have an obsession with time travel books. This was the blueprint. There’s so many times in the story where I just get total body goosebumps. There’s no higher praise than a book you loved as a child still keeping you captivated when you pick it up again as an adult.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Blades

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have enjoyed this series much more than I thought. I went in reading the 'first' book only to find out there this was a series of 5 books. So wonderful. This 4th book kept me riveted, I didn't want to put it down as I wanted to find out how the cupboard had the powers it possessed. In this 4th book, Omri finds out how the cupboard came to possess it powers. Moving to the country, Omri finds a package when their roof is being rethatched. The package contains the journal of his mothers "wicked Aun I have enjoyed this series much more than I thought. I went in reading the 'first' book only to find out there this was a series of 5 books. So wonderful. This 4th book kept me riveted, I didn't want to put it down as I wanted to find out how the cupboard had the powers it possessed. In this 4th book, Omri finds out how the cupboard came to possess it powers. Moving to the country, Omri finds a package when their roof is being rethatched. The package contains the journal of his mothers "wicked Aunt Jessica" and the mystery unfolds from there. In the end, his father finds out about the powers of the cupboard. I can't wait to read the 5th and last book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Mistretta

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The ongoing adventure of Omri and Patrick this time delves into Omris past family history and his great great aunt who started the adventure. She had left a journal and a locked box up in the thatched roof. This was uncovered when the thatch was replaced on the home that Omris mother inherited. It was near the end of the book before any plastic figures were brought to life. Patrick was less involved this time also. The other stories had revolved around this so the change was unique. I thought tha The ongoing adventure of Omri and Patrick this time delves into Omris past family history and his great great aunt who started the adventure. She had left a journal and a locked box up in the thatched roof. This was uncovered when the thatch was replaced on the home that Omris mother inherited. It was near the end of the book before any plastic figures were brought to life. Patrick was less involved this time also. The other stories had revolved around this so the change was unique. I thought that this was a refreshing twist to her other tales to learn how the cupboard, the key and the magic came to exist.

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