In a sequel to The Indian in the Cupboard (1980), Omri and Patrick again invoke miniature people from the past by bringing plastic figures to life, and return with Little Bear to the French and Indian War. The first book had a fine balance between childish desire to play with the tiny figures and awareness that, though small, they were real people who ought not to be so manipulated. This is darker, the problems grimmer. Patrick and his mother have moved away from an abusive father, Omri to a neighborhood threatened by bullies and thieves. Little Bear is now a chief, embroiled in war, for which be seeks weapons to save his village. Patrick is still the enthusiast barging ahead in a good cause; more cautions, Omri helps gather an army of braves. The rescue mission is a tragic partial success: riding in a circle, many of the new recruits accidentally wound and kill one another. Meanwhile Little Bear's son is born; the return of the little family to their own time without the modern guns is a gesture toward life and peace. Feisty, likable characters and the precise logic by which Banks evolves events from her premises make this one of the better recent fantasies. Readers, enjoying the action and adventure, may also ponder its moral dilemmas.