Gr 5-8--In N.D. Wilson's first book in this planned trilogy, 100 Cupboards (May 2008, p. 78), Henry York came to Henry, Kansas to live with his aunt and uncle and discovered a secret wall with 99 cupboards, each a portal which led to a different world. In this second story (Random, 2009), the boy discovers that he was born in one of the worlds of the cupboard. But which one? Henry disappears into the magical realm to discover his heritage. Along the way he battles an evil witch and a wizard. His cousin Henrietta follows into another world, and Uncle Henry, Aunt Dotty, and the younger cousins are forced to explore yet another world. The language is lyrical and Russell Horton provides terrific narration. Each of the numerous characters speaks with a distinct voice and provides much of the humor of the story. However, those looking for an action-packed plot will be disappointed as they meander through the multiple story lines waiting for something to happen. The adventure seems to come to a satisfying conclusion for Henry and his Kansas family, but a third book is still planned.--Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK[Page 64]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Gr 5-8--In this dense and worthy sequel to 100 Cupboards (Random, 2007), Henry York, having discovered that he, like his uncle Frank, actually comes from a world beyond the magic cupboards in his attic room, decides to enter it again. This is a last-ditch attempt to learn more about his origins and about the strange dandelion magic that has recently seared its way into his body. Henry, his cousin Henrietta, and the rest of his Kansas family end up scattered in different parts of the world from which both Henry and his uncle came, struggling against an evil witch and her powerful minion. The plot is complicated, and readers not familiar with the first book will be hopelessly confused. The shifting locations and the many characters and factions are bewildering, but most of the characters have such deliciously flawed and fascinating personalities that fans of that book will go with the flow, waiting to see what the next bend of plot might bring. A quiet and quirky humor warms up the proceedings as well, leavening even the most intense scenes. The ending is satisfying enough to serve as a series closer, but luckily for fans of this challenging but rewarding trilogy, there is still one more installment to come.--Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library[Page 124]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.