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The Key to the Indian

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The New York Times bestselling author of The Indian in the Cupboard returns with a brand new adventure of two remarkable friends brought together through the magic of a bathroom cupboard and a wonderful key. As Omri and his father read together of the terrible historical plight of the Iroquois people, they realize that Little Bear, Omri's Iroquois friend from the past, is i The New York Times bestselling author of The Indian in the Cupboard returns with a brand new adventure of two remarkable friends brought together through the magic of a bathroom cupboard and a wonderful key. As Omri and his father read together of the terrible historical plight of the Iroquois people, they realize that Little Bear, Omri's Iroquois friend from the past, is in urgent need of help. But how can father and son go back in time? Jessica Charlotte, Omri's ancestor who originated the magic gift, tries to help--but things go so wrong that Omri finds himself lost in an entirely different time and place, while his father has hair-raising adventures of his own. And the greatest challenge is yet to come: little do they understand the terrors that lie in wait--both for their Indian friends and for themselves.


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The New York Times bestselling author of The Indian in the Cupboard returns with a brand new adventure of two remarkable friends brought together through the magic of a bathroom cupboard and a wonderful key. As Omri and his father read together of the terrible historical plight of the Iroquois people, they realize that Little Bear, Omri's Iroquois friend from the past, is i The New York Times bestselling author of The Indian in the Cupboard returns with a brand new adventure of two remarkable friends brought together through the magic of a bathroom cupboard and a wonderful key. As Omri and his father read together of the terrible historical plight of the Iroquois people, they realize that Little Bear, Omri's Iroquois friend from the past, is in urgent need of help. But how can father and son go back in time? Jessica Charlotte, Omri's ancestor who originated the magic gift, tries to help--but things go so wrong that Omri finds himself lost in an entirely different time and place, while his father has hair-raising adventures of his own. And the greatest challenge is yet to come: little do they understand the terrors that lie in wait--both for their Indian friends and for themselves.

30 review for The Key to the Indian

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    I enjoyed the 5th book in this series and it is sadly the end of the Indian, Little Bear, and Omri. I liked how the story became Little Bear's and Bright Stars during the British and French invasion of the Iroquois tribe in the new America. It is embarrassing to rehash this time in history but since it is a kids book I appreciate the author making a book based on historical fiction and fantasy to get their attention. History needs to be told no matter how shameful. It is not fair to the victims I enjoyed the 5th book in this series and it is sadly the end of the Indian, Little Bear, and Omri. I liked how the story became Little Bear's and Bright Stars during the British and French invasion of the Iroquois tribe in the new America. It is embarrassing to rehash this time in history but since it is a kids book I appreciate the author making a book based on historical fiction and fantasy to get their attention. History needs to be told no matter how shameful. It is not fair to the victims to keep quiet. In this story, Patrick's dad knows the secret and becomes as excited as Patrick and Omri were in the beginning. He wants to help Little Bear and his tribe but things become muddled in the middle as the "car" sends them back to India during the (other) British invasion. "... the chief mentioned that he'd heard that white people choked wrongdoers to death like dogs on the end of a rope-not enemies but their own people. And Catlin said yes. And the chief just kept quietly asking about other white people's customs, such as robbing graves and abusing their own women, and Catlin kept making notes and keeping his head down and feeling more and more uncomfortable, and at last the chief asked if it was true the the Great Spirit of the white people was the child of a white woman and that the white people has killed him- referring to Jesus, of course. When Catlin had to say Yes to that, the chief simply couldn't believe it, and said: 'The Indians' Great Spirit got no mother- the Indians no kill him, he never die.' ..... Catlin writes (thought to myself and silently) that these and a hundred other vices belong to the civilized world. Who then are the 'cruel and relentless savages'?" (PAGE 82) Sad to know the series is done but I skipped on #3 so I have one more story to go....

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kim Hampton

    I read the first two books in this series when I was a kid, and decided to read the whole series with my 12 year old daughter. This is the last book, and we are sad to see it end! We contacted the author and she sent us the sweetest email, and said she had actually planned another one, but a nasty critic discouraged her. I highly recommend that all kids (and adults) should read them. Be sure to go in order.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brett

    Spoilers ahead! This book is an anticlimactic end to a saga I love. I don't know if the author was burnt out or rushed in making this book, but not a lot is tied up in a satisfying end. No bittersweet goodbyes to Boone and Little Bear, who are blood brothers to each other, and no bittersweet goodbye between Little Bear and Omri, who are not just blood brothers but are also of "one mind". I would have loved a better explanation of what Omri's dream could have been about. I would have also loved t Spoilers ahead! This book is an anticlimactic end to a saga I love. I don't know if the author was burnt out or rushed in making this book, but not a lot is tied up in a satisfying end. No bittersweet goodbyes to Boone and Little Bear, who are blood brothers to each other, and no bittersweet goodbye between Little Bear and Omri, who are not just blood brothers but are also of "one mind". I would have loved a better explanation of what Omri's dream could have been about. I would have also loved to see Omri's "gift" in action, instead of being hinted at and shown through intuition. No, that is not enough. Either he has it or he doesn't. Why bother bringing up the fact that the "gift" is genetic if Omri's not going to have it in any equal capacity as his great aunt? I felt like the logical route this side plot was going was that Omri would be able to bestow magic onto new objects, like keys or closets or something. But that went nowhere of importance, and could have been left out of the series completely. Finally, the Indian/native American stuff. The author went really SJW in this book when it came to the Indians. She parroted the long-busted myth that colonials purposefully gave native Americans smallpox-infested blankets in order to kill them off, which is simply absurd. Germ Theory wasn't really accepted until the late 1800's, so people didn't know exactly how germs spread. I had a big problem with the author projecting her distaste for religion by comparing religions that require animal sacrifice to that of Christianity. She did this through Omri's inner thoughts, in which he showed distaste for the fact that the Mohawks (Iroquois? I don't know anymore) sacrificed dogs. He then said that he was glad he wasn't religious. What does sacrificing animals have to do with current practicing of religion? Some religions don't require blood sacrifices, such as Catholicism and Christianity. I'm wondering if Orthodox Jews still do, but I haven't heard that they do in modern day. So Omri's ignorance of all religion here does a huge disservice both to the character as well as to the author's ability to keep herself out of her characters. I don't care that Omri isn't religious, just as long as it doesn't cloud his reasoning. He was always a very wise kid for his age (possibly to the point of being written too much like an adult than a child), but I never would have thought that he would have closed his heart to religion altogether. He's smart enough to be open to the idea of an intelligent designer of the universe, but even that shouldn't be added to a kid's book. Just give us the heart and adventure, with God (not in a forced way) or without. Don't give us anti-God. No one wants that. That's a political view, and politics should not be mixed with children's tales. I also despised (yes, despised) that Omri, our Omri, the Omri who loved animals and was a very compassionate child, would side with the Indians when it came to scalping. Scalping has always been a very barbaric way of murdering white settlers, causing them to bleed to death. It was seen as a way to humiliate their spirits in the afterlife, or so I've read. Some white settlers did it to, but only to counter the barbaric and cruel actions of the Indian tribes that committed the horrible deed. How could a child side with such a barbaric tribe that actually believed that scalping was a good thing? I understand fighting fire with fire, using weapons to fight for land and freedom against the white settlers. But to scalp them? How could any "civilized" child of the 20th Century be on the side of such barbarity? He should be on the side of humane treatment, and I do hope Omri realizes one day that Little Bear was dead wrong about Indians and rape. Indians did rape white settler women. They did it a lot, right before they killed the women. Any cruel action taken by white settlers (scalping, raping, burning, etc) was most likely a counter to one taken by Indians. That's the cold truth of the matter. I love stories with native Americans because I find their simple way of live in the 1700's and 1800's fascinating, and the slaughter of their people very tragic. But to lie and say that they were very progressive, innovative, and peaceful is absolute nonsense. They fought each other well before Europeans came onto their continent. The Indians weren't really wiped out from genocide either, no matter what the history books tell you. The Indians could, for the most part, hold their own, which is why their threat to westward expansion didn't dwindle for several hundred years. They were respectable adversaries in the long battle for territory. Their numbers plummeted not because of mass slaughter, but because of illness. Yes, there were atrocities done to them that American history will always be stained with, but the numbers of those murdered is nowhere near the numbers of those who died of illness. If only the author believed in facts instead of myths. Perhaps then her book would have been factually accurate.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tarissa

    The Key to the Indian is the end to a fantastic book series! I don't usually read the fantasy genre, but this is one series I'm glad to have expanded my literary horizons with. The final book ends with Omri attempting to achieve his most challenging adventure yet -- taking multiple people back in time to visit the Mohawk Indians and save his "toy" friend, Little Bear's, tribe. I'm so impressed with how the author brought Omri's parents into the adventure. Most books written for children try to sho The Key to the Indian is the end to a fantastic book series! I don't usually read the fantasy genre, but this is one series I'm glad to have expanded my literary horizons with. The final book ends with Omri attempting to achieve his most challenging adventure yet -- taking multiple people back in time to visit the Mohawk Indians and save his "toy" friend, Little Bear's, tribe. I'm so impressed with how the author brought Omri's parents into the adventure. Most books written for children try to show how much fun the main characters can have while not including their parents. I found the whole story to become more special because of how the adults were involved. Many lessons are learned, secrets are lifted, and history is unveiled. I would recommend this to anyone who likes British books (that is, British books that are about Native Americans!). Sometimes it reads more like a fantasy Western. But hey, I love it! Now that I finished The Indian in the Cupboard books... I just HAVE to find out what else this author writes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kimball

    Finally, after nearly 23 years I got to read this book which I never knew existed until a few weeks ago. I think I'll give it 4.5 stars. For fun. I hate queer Patrick so much. I'm surprised that Little Bull didn't just take them with them up north up until Patrick sent them back. They were left to freeze alone all night. I don't understand the point of having his dad or even Omri come back to Little Bull's time just to give them an idea of what to do. He couldn't explain it to Little Bull in their Finally, after nearly 23 years I got to read this book which I never knew existed until a few weeks ago. I think I'll give it 4.5 stars. For fun. I hate queer Patrick so much. I'm surprised that Little Bull didn't just take them with them up north up until Patrick sent them back. They were left to freeze alone all night. I don't understand the point of having his dad or even Omri come back to Little Bull's time just to give them an idea of what to do. He couldn't explain it to Little Bull in their world and then Little Bull would have told the tribe about it when he went back? I think it would have been better to have Omri's mom being in on the secret instead of the Dad because the mom is the relative to the makers of the key and cupboard. Plus she could have seen her great aunt. What is Omri's special gift again?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

    So just read 4 of these in a day - they can't be that bad! So just read 4 of these in a day - they can't be that bad!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dayanara Ryelle

    Just started, so I'm not quite sure what to think yet. A few mistakes I've noticed: Omri says: Ruby Lou was a saloon-bar hostess. I say: Not only is "saloon-bar" redundant, there was no such thing as a "hostess". She sounded like a woman-about-town and possibly even a minx. (Or "maneater", to use a little bit more of a modern term.) Omri says: It was a hurricane that attacked London. I say: How did a storm that was a tornado in book three suddenly become a hurricane in book five? And even if they hi Just started, so I'm not quite sure what to think yet. A few mistakes I've noticed: Omri says: Ruby Lou was a saloon-bar hostess. I say: Not only is "saloon-bar" redundant, there was no such thing as a "hostess". She sounded like a woman-about-town and possibly even a minx. (Or "maneater", to use a little bit more of a modern term.) Omri says: It was a hurricane that attacked London. I say: How did a storm that was a tornado in book three suddenly become a hurricane in book five? And even if they hit the desert parts of Texas, they'd probably be a tropical storm or depression by then. I hope this one ends up being as good as the last one or the ghostwriter that Lynne clearly hired will have been a complete failure. ==Two Days Later== Mainly a failure. This book didn't have nearly the excitement of any of the others. One last "hmm": Lionel refers to the shamen/holy people of the Iroquois as sachem. But other nations (their Algonquin enemies, especially) call their chiefs by that title. In fact, Little Bear's comment that he's a "pine tree chief" makes me think that he was a sagamore and whoever Old Mother picked would be sachem. But I don't know enough about the Iroquois to be certain about whether Lionel's appellation is correct.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lara Vehar

    I finally finished this series. I don't know if it was because I read the last two books back to back, but this one was a lackluster ending to the series. The characters we saw throughout the books are barely there. Patrick, Boone and Ruby show up but only briefly. We never get any proper conclusion or goodbye between Patrick, Boone, Omri and Little Bear and especially between Little Bear and Boone that have been through a lot together and are blood brothers. There is no real reason for Omri's f I finally finished this series. I don't know if it was because I read the last two books back to back, but this one was a lackluster ending to the series. The characters we saw throughout the books are barely there. Patrick, Boone and Ruby show up but only briefly. We never get any proper conclusion or goodbye between Patrick, Boone, Omri and Little Bear and especially between Little Bear and Boone that have been through a lot together and are blood brothers. There is no real reason for Omri's father to travel back with him instead of Patrick. I wish that Patrick went instead because it would have felt more tense and dangerous and his mom knowing all along was just .... out of place. It didn't fit into the story at all. The story was boring, the important characters are barely there- there are some intense and darker scenes but they barely redeem the book for me. Overall- a lackluster conclusion to a decent book series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    J.N.

    In the beginning, I wasn’t sure this book was necessary. The first book will always be the best to me, though I do enjoy some of the other books. In this one, Omri’s dad knows the secret and Little Bear’s clan is in extreme danger. A good hunk of the book is Omri and his dad trying to figure out how to help Little Bear. I found the first 40% to be a bit slow but ended up enjoying the other 60% more than I expected. I feel this one ended the series on a good note. Patrick is a complete menace, tho In the beginning, I wasn’t sure this book was necessary. The first book will always be the best to me, though I do enjoy some of the other books. In this one, Omri’s dad knows the secret and Little Bear’s clan is in extreme danger. A good hunk of the book is Omri and his dad trying to figure out how to help Little Bear. I found the first 40% to be a bit slow but ended up enjoying the other 60% more than I expected. I feel this one ended the series on a good note. Patrick is a complete menace, though, and I’m a little stunned at this point that he was allowed to do anything. It was nice to see Little Bear, Bright Stars, Boone, and Ruby again. More of the “magic” in Omri’s family is revealed. Clan Mother was a nice edition. I also liked the twist with Omri’s mother. Overall, this was a decent way to end the series and I’m glad I read them. 3.5 stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anna Cavallo

    Omri's dad had just found out about the magic cupboard in the last book and this picks up right where that left off. Little Bear's tribe is in trouble and he needs Omri and his dad to help. Omri wants to help, but is not quite sure how to. Meanwhile his dad becomes obsessed with the idea of helping out. Also his brother starts to get a little suspicious of everything happening, but Omri doesn't want anything to affect their friendship. Especially now that he is working with his father, it is als Omri's dad had just found out about the magic cupboard in the last book and this picks up right where that left off. Little Bear's tribe is in trouble and he needs Omri and his dad to help. Omri wants to help, but is not quite sure how to. Meanwhile his dad becomes obsessed with the idea of helping out. Also his brother starts to get a little suspicious of everything happening, but Omri doesn't want anything to affect their friendship. Especially now that he is working with his father, it is also more attention-drawing to his mother (that she will find out). I really enjoyed this book series and I found that this was a really good way to end such a special series. I thought the author really put time and effort into writing these story lines...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is a good nostalgia read if you loved the other books in the series, but it doesn't really accomplish much. It's a bit more draggy than the other books have been, weighted down by perhaps an unnecessary side jaunt near the beginning that acts as a bit of a red herring. Patrick continues to be an idiot, and I didn't exactly love the "white savior" element of sending Omri and his Dad back to help Little Bull and his people....in fact, I'm still not exactly sure what they accomplished after al This is a good nostalgia read if you loved the other books in the series, but it doesn't really accomplish much. It's a bit more draggy than the other books have been, weighted down by perhaps an unnecessary side jaunt near the beginning that acts as a bit of a red herring. Patrick continues to be an idiot, and I didn't exactly love the "white savior" element of sending Omri and his Dad back to help Little Bull and his people....in fact, I'm still not exactly sure what they accomplished after all of that build-up. This series continues to be clever and witty (Banks is such a fine writer), but this one felt a bit lackluster compared to the others.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kati

    Even knowing how history turns out in regards to treatment of Native Americans by colonial settlers, it was hard reading this fictional recounting of that treatment, with Little Bear, Bright Stars and crew as the focus. It was interesting watching Omri's Dad (and eventually Mom) discover this little world, and to see Gillon's unplanned misadventures with the magic key. I'll be honest, knowing that there are no more stories in this series, I'm missing the characters already. This was a lovely ser Even knowing how history turns out in regards to treatment of Native Americans by colonial settlers, it was hard reading this fictional recounting of that treatment, with Little Bear, Bright Stars and crew as the focus. It was interesting watching Omri's Dad (and eventually Mom) discover this little world, and to see Gillon's unplanned misadventures with the magic key. I'll be honest, knowing that there are no more stories in this series, I'm missing the characters already. This was a lovely series, and I'm glad I gave it a (re)read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Mistretta

    End of the series. I wish I could write like this. What an amazing way to learn about the Mohawk Iroquois life. She describes how they live and the alliance and betrayal of the English and French. The responsibility that Omri feels with the gift of time travel and how careful he had to be when interacting with other people. This series creates an understanding of the past in such a palatable way. I'm not sure why she had an adventure in India since it was completely irrelevant to all the other bo End of the series. I wish I could write like this. What an amazing way to learn about the Mohawk Iroquois life. She describes how they live and the alliance and betrayal of the English and French. The responsibility that Omri feels with the gift of time travel and how careful he had to be when interacting with other people. This series creates an understanding of the past in such a palatable way. I'm not sure why she had an adventure in India since it was completely irrelevant to all the other books, but I enjoyed going there with the boys, even though it made little sense to me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kayli

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thought I had read this before as a kid, when I read all the other books, but I actually hadn't! And it's great just like the rest of them. I was so surprised when he went to India! But, by this point in the series I am pretty fed up with them doing stupid things so frequently... Especially what Patrick does at the very end, I didn't feel like that did anything for the story. But, again, these are awesome books, and Lynne Reid Banks is an awesome writer--able to make books that are awesome for I thought I had read this before as a kid, when I read all the other books, but I actually hadn't! And it's great just like the rest of them. I was so surprised when he went to India! But, by this point in the series I am pretty fed up with them doing stupid things so frequently... Especially what Patrick does at the very end, I didn't feel like that did anything for the story. But, again, these are awesome books, and Lynne Reid Banks is an awesome writer--able to make books that are awesome for kids just as awesome for adults (my other favorite of hers is The Fairy Rebel).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    I had the opportunity to read the entire series with my 4th then 5th grade students over the past two school years. It has been such a journey getting to know Omri and his world with his magic key and cupboard. If you are a teacher or a parent and are looking for a book or series that will capture your child's attention, I can't recommend this series enough. Because the series is based in England there may be some translation that needs to happen (Omri and Patrick use pounds, not dollars, to buy I had the opportunity to read the entire series with my 4th then 5th grade students over the past two school years. It has been such a journey getting to know Omri and his world with his magic key and cupboard. If you are a teacher or a parent and are looking for a book or series that will capture your child's attention, I can't recommend this series enough. Because the series is based in England there may be some translation that needs to happen (Omri and Patrick use pounds, not dollars, to buy more figures for the cupboard and things of that nature).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Nelson

    The Final Indian in the Cupboard book. Omri and his father have been asked by Little Bear to help. The tribe is being forced out of their homes and off of their ancestral lands by settlers who are destroying all that the natives have worked so hard to build. Afraid of tampering with history, Omri's dad researches the best solution to help the tribe last. This journey is a dangerous one, filled with terror and death, especially for two small Englishmen who are out of their world! The Final Indian in the Cupboard book. Omri and his father have been asked by Little Bear to help. The tribe is being forced out of their homes and off of their ancestral lands by settlers who are destroying all that the natives have worked so hard to build. Afraid of tampering with history, Omri's dad researches the best solution to help the tribe last. This journey is a dangerous one, filled with terror and death, especially for two small Englishmen who are out of their world!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marisa Maloney

    Well we finished it. Didn’t know that there was a book 5 in the series but I really wanted to complete the series and I BBC an say we did that. This last book was about Omri and his Dad going back to help Little Bear for the last time. Struggled with the storyline a bit and was hard to keep engaged. Did feel like we finally got some hope with Little Bear and his tribe and that they would make it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    The first in this series was one of my absolute favorites as a kid-I love that the series continued! This final book is much darker and sadder than the others, as it must be if you are to tell the truth of what happened to the eastern tribes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Candy

    My 8-year-old grandson and I just finished reading the Indian in the Cupboard series. All of the books kept us engaged. I think this would have been difficult for him to read and understand by himself but reading it together was great fun.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    This was a great ending. It was a fantastic adventure and I liked how it brought the parents into it. I'm sad this is over This was a great ending. It was a fantastic adventure and I liked how it brought the parents into it. I'm sad this is over

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Omri finally gets to help Little Bear in 'his time' in the conclusion of the Indian in the Cupboard series. Omri finally gets to help Little Bear in 'his time' in the conclusion of the Indian in the Cupboard series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    A fine ending to the series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alicia King Hatch

    Read aloud with my 9yo.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jefferson Coombs

    When I was a kid I didn't realize the series went beyond the 1st two books. I'm very glad I read the remainder. Numbers 3 and 4 were only fair but this book was excellent. I really enjoyed it. When I was a kid I didn't realize the series went beyond the 1st two books. I'm very glad I read the remainder. Numbers 3 and 4 were only fair but this book was excellent. I really enjoyed it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Shilling

    A great ending to the series

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    Pretty intense material for children. I wouldn’t let my kids read it for several more years anyway. A good wrap-up for the series, though. I like how it ends.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kim Shayda

    Really liked this series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    3.5 stars

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    My kids enjoyed this one the least. But it is still a wonderful series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    JD Sutter

    Least favorite of the series. Some odd inconsistencies in this one and numerous instances of swearing. Also several instances of atheistic sentiments. Overall just not as good as the first few books.

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