The Indian in the Cupboard is a children’s fantasy novel published in 1980 by British writer Lynne Reid Bank. The book contains illustrations in the British version by Robin Jacques with Brock Cole taking over the visual imagery for the U.S. edition. Since publication, the novel has inspired a series of books through the release of four subsequent sequels. In 1995, The Indian in the Cupboard was adapted into a live action film bearing the same title directed by Muppets regular and the voice of Yoda, Frank Oz.
The Indian in the Cupboard has been recognized for its literary merit by being honored with several awards. At the very same time, the novel has since publication been singled out for controversy and criticism over what it regarded by some as little more than stereotypical portrayal of its Native American title character. The New York Times placed the novel under consideration for its honor as one of the best novels of the year. Not long after, the American Library Conference became the epicenter of a firestorm over the novel being a typical example of British authors relying upon outmoded and outdated views of “Indians” and their way of life.
The controversy has done little to dampen enthusiasm for any of the sequels as they reached the reading public.