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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.


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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.

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

    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.

  3. 4 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.

  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. 4 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 5 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."

  8. 4 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Meadow Frisbie

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

  12. 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.

  13. 5 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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Lamothe 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Nelson

    Indian in the Cupboard Book #4. Omri and his family have just inherited a house out in the country. This home is in need of a lot of improvements, including a thatched roof. During the new thatching process, Omri is led to discover a hidden secret: a journal and a cash box that were placed there by the previous owner. In this journal, Omri discovers that his ancestor, Jessica Charlotte, is actually the owner of the key and the cupboard and the mystery as to why, together, they create magic to br Indian in the Cupboard Book #4. Omri and his family have just inherited a house out in the country. This home is in need of a lot of improvements, including a thatched roof. During the new thatching process, Omri is led to discover a hidden secret: a journal and a cash box that were placed there by the previous owner. In this journal, Omri discovers that his ancestor, Jessica Charlotte, is actually the owner of the key and the cupboard and the mystery as to why, together, they create magic to bring plastic people to life.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lara Vehar

    This one was different. I liked it- it still has that magic aspect where the figurines come to life but it explains the origins of the cupboard and how it came to be and how the magic works. It also dives more into the family history of Omri's family and I liked that a lot. The figurines are there at the end of the story- but they are barely there aside from Omri revealing them to his father who accepts the magic way too easily - but other than that, it's a good book. Probably my favourite in th This one was different. I liked it- it still has that magic aspect where the figurines come to life but it explains the origins of the cupboard and how it came to be and how the magic works. It also dives more into the family history of Omri's family and I liked that a lot. The figurines are there at the end of the story- but they are barely there aside from Omri revealing them to his father who accepts the magic way too easily - but other than that, it's a good book. Probably my favourite in the series so far.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kati

    Yet more growth (and more set-backs) for Omri in this book. Patrick shows up in this book as little more than a means to talk some sense into Omri. We get to learn how the cabinet and key came into being, how they were imbued with their magic, and a great deal about Omri's family on his Mom's side) in the process. There's a good bit of heart-break in Omri's family story. Not the best of the books, IMO, but a solid addition to the series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    It all just felt a bit contrived and less engaging than any of the books that were just about the magic. It's not that it wasn't interesting, it was just interesting in the way that reading old diaries is interesting, not in the way that great stories are interesting. If you've loved the series I would say read it if you're into backstories. It hasn't changed my opinion of the others (loved them), but neither did it elevate the series for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nora McNabb

    The mystery of the cupboard was a pretty good book, what I really liked about it was where the story took place. Of course since it wasn't a picture book there were no pictures but the way the author made the setting sound now I want to go to England. In the beginning the family lives in an apartment in London but then they suddenly move to the country, and that is where the mysteries start taking place.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    The Mystery of the Cupboardfills in the history of the magic cupboard and key and how it connects to Omri's family. His ancestors imbued the cupboard with all the sadness of their family's broken relationships and forged a key at a pivotal breaking point, yielding a magic and magical intuition that spans generations.

  22. 4 out of 5

    J.N.

    This book went in an interesting direction—explaining how the cupboard and the magic came to be, going into history about one of Omri’s relatives. Omari’s family also moves again. There isn’t much cupboard action in this one, but I still ended up really enjoying it. I loved the story of Tom and Jenny. The twist at the end definitely surprised me. 3.5 stars!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jefferson Coombs

    I was somewhat disappointed in this book. I still gave it a 3 because it did have some fun things and the ending set up the final book in the series very well. However, I didn't like that Little Bear really wasn't involved at all and I also didn't really like the magical explanation she gave, I liked it better as an unexplained mystery.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wayne Kramer

    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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Richard Hoenes

    I loved this fantasy fiction book. I think this is an amazing book because it was exciting. I've read several of Lynne Reid Banks' books and in this book the family moves to the country to a house they inherited. I got to know the mystery of the cupboard. I think it was really nice that Omri started to bond more with his dad and share the secret with him.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Valzebub

    I really enjoyed the Indian in the cupboard series as a kid and I think they stand the test of time. I never really saw a need to explain the magic of the cupboard, but that's what this book is all about. It's not the most engaging book, but fine. If you want to know why the cupboard does what it does, read on. If you'd prefer the mystery, skip this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Harper Mahlburg

    Harper age 8:I like that the boy took his cupboard out of the bank.I like that the boy found a book and he read but sometime but he had to stop because people sometimes call him or pushopen the door that has blocks to keep people out.I like that he took people wich are tiny plastik and turn thm in to tiny people or animals.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brynn Johnson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I liked this one the best as it gives a better history to the key/cupboard and doesn’t try to fit too much in the book, Patrick finally learns his lesson in not playing with the cupboard like a toy. Loved how the dad got pulled into the secret at the end, and how supportive the parents are in the book

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Stevens

    So much backstory: I mean, it was totally necessary for the book but made for a long read. Disappointed I never really found out about the earrings. Perhaps it gets cleared up in the final book? Ready to get started on the next one soon

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I listened to this book with the kids in the car. We are going to finish the series - I think it has been good so far, although I definitely loved it a lot more as a kid. Patrick can really get on the nerves!

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