Audio Book Review: The Indian in the Cupboard

Confession time: I’ve never actually read this book. Mainly because the audiobook is SO very good!

A few years ago when we were going on a long road trip, we borrowed this tape from the library. (Yes, it was so long ago that we still had a cassette player in the car!) I’m not always a fan of audio books. Many times a perfectly good story can become annoying with the wrong reader. (The guy who read the Percy Jackson books totally grated on my nerves. If I hadn’t already read and loved those books, I doubt I could have listened to a single cd.)

We were pleasantly surprised when we listened to THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD. None of us were familiar with the book. But the British author, Lynne Reid Banks, did a wonderful job of bringing her story to life. Her voicing, especially for the Indian and the cowboy, Boone, matched the personality of the characters so perfectly. In fact, when we watched the movie some time later, the guy playing the Indian seemed like such a wimp compared to the voice and personality the author had given him.

The story blends magic and history with an exploration of family, friendship and growing older. Not only do we watch the Indian and cowboy try to forge a friendship, despite their stereotypes of one another, we also see how the friendship between Omri and Patrick is challenged as they fight over how to take care of the Indian and cowboy they have brought to life. Banks subtly weaves in some very grown up themes of racism, responsibility, love and honor, but she never loses sight of the fun in the story of magically bringing a toy to life.

Because it was so good, we ended up downloading our own copy of the audio book. I’ve listened to this story now three times with my kids and every time I find new things to enjoy. Even if you’ve read the printed book before, I would absolutely recommend listening to Lynne Reid Banks read her classic story to you. It’ll make your next four-hour drive in the car much more enjoyable 🙂

Looking for more Marvelous Middle Grade Books? Check out these bloggers:
Shannon Whitney Messenger
Shannon O’Donnell
Joanne Fritz
Brooke Favero
Barbara Watson
Natalie Aguirre
Anita Laydon Miller
Sheri Larson
Middle Grade Mafioso

22 thoughts on “Audio Book Review: The Indian in the Cupboard

  1. I have never read this book either! It wasn't on my radar screen growing up. We can't listen to audio books in the car b/c my kids are too far apart in years to ever agree on one!

  2. I don't listen to book CDs mostly because my mind starts to wander if I try. I focus better on the written word. And if my mind wander while I read, I can always go back to where it happened. Not so easy with book CDs.

    I never realized it's makes a huge difference as to who's reading it on the CD. Good to know. 😀

  3. I don't know why, but I completely forget about audiobooks. My hubby listens to motivational audiobooks all the time. I need to try and remember. Thanks for sharing and for linking with me. 🙂

  4. Dood, I totally forgot about this book! I remember loving it as a kid, although I don't really remember what it was about. Maybe I should reread it…

  5. Excellent! Thanks for recommending this one. I'm listening to HOOT by Carl Hissan, it's being read by Edward Asner…so, so, so good. His voice and how he reads aloud is perfect for this story!

  6. This book truly builds a delightful and intriguing world of “what if.” Because I get motion-sick (ick, ick, ick), audio books are life-savers on long trips, but the voices sometimes change the story for me. I'll check this one out! Thank you.

  7. I loved this book when I was younger. And I know what you mean about needing to have the right person reading the story. My boys are hooked on the Junie B. Jones series and I credit that not only to Barbara Park, the writer, but to Lana Quintal who did an excellent job voicing.

  8. I cannot believe I've never read this book! I also forget about audio books. I wonder if I can get audio books on my iPod? Anyone know?

  9. I've been meaning to try out audiobooks, so maybe I'll start with this one. I LOVED this series as a kid, but it's been so long since I've read it (or seen the movie) that listening to the audiobook would be a nice refresher! 🙂 Will have to keep this in mind.

  10. Yes, Kelly, you can download to your iPod!

    We actually re-listened to this one after I downloaded it to the iPad. You can buy audio books directly from iTunes, or you can go to a vendor like Some libraries even offer audio book downloads through Overdrive. In most places you can listen to samples to make sure you like the reader's voice before you buy or borrow 🙂

  11. I'm a huge fan of this book (and the entire series). It was a favorite read-aloud with my kids. But I've never listened to the audio. Thanks for the recommendation! Oh, and I thought the book was way better than the movie (why did they have to change Omri from a Brit to an American?)

    I agree about stories becoming annoying with the wrong reader. I've listened to a few audio books that drove me bonkers with the voice.

  12. We still have a cassette player in our cars–yes, we drive old cars.

    But, as with Laura Pauling, the great age difference between the kids means no one can agree on anything.

    Your review was wonderful, however. I too don't know how I missed this book growing up. I guess, it's never too late…

    Thanks for following my Middle Grade Mafioso blog, Sherrie. I appreciate it.

  13. As a kid, I loved this book, but I haven't been able to get any of mine to read it. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm not a big fan of audio books, but I haven't given them much of a chance.

  14. This takes me back to elementary school. I read that book and its sequel (maybe the whole series?), but all I really remember from it was the scene where the cowboy drew a painting while the boy was in class, then the teacher saw it and thought the boy had made this amazing tiny, tiny drawing. Don't remember which book that's from, but it's funny how little details like that can stick with you 15 years later.

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