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100 Cupboards

100 Cupboards

by N. D. Wilson
Publisher: Random House
Mass market paperback, 289 pages
List Price: $7.99 Sale Price: $6.79

Twelve-year-old Henry York has lived a sheltered life. He's never tasted soda or played baseball. He's never really traveled, or been to other places, or had adventures. But now he's on his way to Kansas to stay with his aunt and uncle and three girl cousins. One night he hears thumping and scratching on the other side of his attic bedroom wall. Peeling back the plaster, he finds a set of cupboards. When Henry finally opens one he smells rain, and hears trees rustling—on a summer day in Kansas. Opening another one discloses a room, and a man walking back and forth.

Clearly, he's not in Kansas anymore.

His only clue to the nature of the cupboards is a diary left to him by his grandfather—the collector and explorer of the cupboards. As Henry learns to play baseball, attends barbecues, collects tumbleweed, and befriends his cousins, he also begins to explore the mysterious worlds of the cupboards. But all is not as it seems, as Henry discovers when he opens the wrong cupboard door....

As a story about a boy who finds a magic cupboard, 100 Cupboards can't help but be reminiscent of other fantasy classics, and it's full of allusions, from Oz to Narnia to Arthurian legend. Yet it stands on its own as a clever twist on the classic premise. N.D. Wilson takes aim at our increasingly overprotective society, and encourages taking risks, getting dirty, having fun, and going on adventures.

Mysterious and intriguing enough to capture the attention of even the most reluctant reader, and yet grounded by the presence of a loving family with solid morals, this first book in the 100 Cupboards trilogy is fascinating, sometimes frightening, and ultimately satisfying.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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Summary: A sheltered boy finds one hundred magical cupboards behind a peeling wall in a Kansas farm house.

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  Fantastic Starter
Josiah of South Carolina, 5/27/2011
What I first want to say is that this book is not super exciting on its own, but its sequels are and it acts as a great opener to an riveting series where the author uses his unique (by today's standards) writing style to weave together an amazing story.

Though slow in parts and creepy in others, this book acts as a solid prologue to his second and third books and yet is entertaining in itself as the characters are developed and the theme of baseball is present. I think it can almost be read as a stand alone novel, though I highly suggest reading the next two.
  The First Book in An Awesome Trilogy!
HappyHomemaker of Oregon, 4/15/2011
A fun, easy read that is just delightful! A modern-day fantasy tale set squarely in Kansas, Henry is not an extraordinary boy by any means. In fact you might call him even less than mediocre. But the fun just starts there. N.D. Wilson has a wonderful way with words that just brings OUR world to life. That's one of my favorite parts; he makes our everyday world worth paying attention to. He makes a family dinner something to long for. He makes the family unit real and important.
This is the first of three books, so although it ends well, the story isn't over!
A note of caution: the bad guy is evil. Very evil, and somewhat disgusting. Depending on how sensitive your young children are, this book might need to wait.
  Extremely Entertaining
Snavewolf79 of Oregon, 9/24/2009
The book is great! Packed with action, of course there is some parts where it gave me the chills, but it's a great book (in my opinion.)