Thursday, July 12, 2012

Strange Names: The Secret of the Indian

Lynne Reid Banks has written a handful of books about a boy whose magic cupboard brings his toys to life, and the complications that ensue. They're good complications, because the toys really come to life, or rather become actual people represented by the kind of toy -- the toy Indian figure becomes a real seventeenth century Algonquin man, who is not impressed at being suddenly tiny and in modern times.
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The Secret of the Indian is the third book, where Omri deals with the aftermath of enlisting an army of miniatures to help him fend off a burglary, and also deal with his friends who are reluctant to treat the living toys as real people, preferring to enslave them as animated toys. Oh, and the parents who find many of the explanations unconvincing, and the few adults who have an idea of what is going on and immediately fixate on how they could profit from it. It's rather a thoughtful little elementary school book, but unfortunately I'm so distracted by the strange names that I can't really concentrate on it. Omri? Gillon? Adiel? Their parents are Lionel and Jane, so I have no idea how to picture the family.

I should probably have gone with a more ambitious book; it really wasn't a day to waste on a short easy read, since I got to spend an hour waiting in the airport for my kids to come through customs. Oh well, I couldn't read anything too engrossing because I really wanted to see them. Welcome home, world travelers!

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