Reviews for 100 Cupboards
Booklist Reviews 2007 December #1
When plaster chunks fall from his attic bedroom wall, waking him in the night, 12-year-old Henry begins work to chip away a wall of 99 hidden cupboards. He and his adventurous cousin Henrietta find the 100th cupboard in their deceased grandfather's mysterious locked bedroom, a discovery that is a portal to and from the worlds behind the other cupboards. The intriguing cover art, title, and premise will suck in readers, who will find the Polly Horvath-like characters ultimately engaged in a battle against an evil witch, who enters their Kansas farmhouse through a cupboard. The story is chilling, but the creepy quotient never exceeds the book's target audience. The last third of the book, with multiple shifts in time and place, may confuse younger readers. Many questions are also left unanswered (Who are Henry's real parents? Which cupboard world did he come from?), and some of the world building is shrouded in too much mystery. Let's hope the promised sequels explain what's left unresolved here. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
After twelve-year-old Henry's parents are kidnapped, he moves to Kansas. There, he and his cousin discover one hundred mysterious cupboard doors--the keys to different universes. Wilson sets this tale in motion at a leisurely pace, developing the quirky household with quiet pleasure. Henry and his family emerge as highly appealing characters whom readers will want to encounter again. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #1
When twelve-year-old Henry's parents are kidnapped, he moves to the unprepossessing town of Henry, Kansas, to live with his uncle and aunt. After the plaster on his bedroom wall starts to crack, he discovers that behind the plaster are one hundred very different cupboard doors, which he uncovers with the help of his cousin Henrietta. If that's not odd enough, it turns out that each cupboard opens into a very different place, not one of which is the Kansas sky. The cousins learn that the cupboards are the keys to a series of universes, all of which can be accessed through another door in their dead grandfather's bedroom -- and which can let intruders into their own. Wilson sets his tale in motion at a leisurely pace, developing Henry's quirky new household with quiet pleasure. When the action does begin, it does so in a rush, catapulting Henry and Henrietta into different universes and giving a couple of visitors, one highly sinister, entrance into Henry's. While the mechanics of this inter-universe travel are not satisfactorily explained, nor is Henry's decidedly odd upbringing explored beyond a few hints, Henry and his family emerge as highly appealing characters whom readers will want to encounter again when this series, for which this offering is essentially an introduction, continues. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2007 November #2
Henry York awakens one night to find that two knobs have popped out of the plaster at the head of his bed. Having lived a sheltered existence thanks to his overprotective parents, the boy is currently staying with his aunt, uncle and cousins and is up for a little adventure. Scraping the wall reveals 99 cupboards of varying shapes and sizes, each one a connection to another world. Unfortunately, opening one of the doors means the release of an unspeakably evil presence, causing the secrets of both the cupboards and Henry's past to come to light in the face of great danger. Wilson takes the concept of finding a door to another realm and simply extends it to its logical extreme. The result is a highly imaginative tale that successfully balances its hero's inner and outer struggles. Wilson's writing is fantastical, but works with clever sentences and turns of phrase that render it more than just another rote fantasy. The ending concludes the adventure satisfactorily but leaves plenty of room for a sequel. (Fantasy. 9-14) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2008 May
Gr 5-7-- Henry York is no ordinary 12-year-old boy. He has never played baseball without a helmet, never owned a pocket knife, and never ridden in the back of a truck. All this changes when he moves to Henry, Kansas, to live with distant relatives after his parents have been kidnapped.. The boy is warmly welcomed by his Uncle Frank, Aunt Dottie, and three female cousins and given a cozy room in the attic. Henry awakens one night to discover bits of plaster falling off the wall. Curious, he begins to scrape the wall and is astonished to find cupboards of different shapes and sizes. Each door is a portal into another time and place, some warm and welcoming and others quite sinister. N. D. Wilson's fantasy (Random, 2007) is slow to take off and many questions are left unresolved. Russell Horton narrates in a smooth, grandfatherly voice, and the characters are nicely developed. Patient listeners will enjoy this creepy tale and eagerly await the next installment. Recommend this title to fans of Neil Gaiman's Coraline (HarperCollins, 2002).--Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK [Page 78]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2008 April
Gr 4-7-- Henry York, 12, discovers 99 different cupboard doors hidden behind the plaster in his attic bedroom, and one in the room that belonged to his deceased grandfather. Henry's not particularly brave; in fact, he has only recently stopped wearing a helmet to P.E. class. Nevertheless, he opens some of the doors, only to become more and more puzzled. One of them, for example, opens into a forest, and behind another, mail is delivered. Henry's nagging cousin Henrietta wants to explore further and decides to open a menacing black cupboard door. When he discovers her face-down with her ice-cold arm in the grip of someone inside the cupboard, the boy and his family are unwillingly pulled into a life-or-death adventure. While the first part of the book may seem slow to those thinking the title indicates an immediate portal into different realms, fans of dark fantasy will be intrigued by the unknown realities awaiting these unsuspecting people. The characters are especially memorable, with Henry's seemingly clueless Uncle Frank, whose laid-back style offers wit and energy, standing out most of all. The story is well crafted and gratifying but the resolution may prove challenging for some. Unanswered questions lead into the next book in the series.--Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL [Page 152]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.