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Book cover of 100 Cupboards

100 Cupboards

by N. D. Wilson

Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Library Binding
ISBN: 9780375938818

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Synopsis of 100 Cupboards

Twelve-year-old Henry York is going to sleep one night when he hears a bump on the attic wall above his head. It's an unfamiliar house Henry is staying with his aunt, uncle, and three cousins so he tries to ignore it. But the next night he wakes up with bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall, and one of them is slowly turning... .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers doors ninety-nine cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room with a man strolling back and forth! Henry and his cousin Henrietta soon understand that these are not just cupboards. They are, in fact, portals to other worlds.100 Cupboards is the first book of a new fantasy adventure, written in the best world-hopping tradition and reinvented in N. D. Wilson's own inimitable style.

Children's Literature

AGERANGE: Ages 9 to 12.

One magical cupboard would be enough for a fantasy story, but Wilson offers his twelve-year-old protagonist an even hundred. When Henry York comes to stay with his aunt, uncle, and three female cousins in Henry, Kansas, after his parents have been kidnapped while bicycling across South America, he has hitherto "led a life that had taught him not to look forward to anything." But the same dreary landscape that launched Dorothy to Oz here introduces Henry to his uncle's schemes of selling tumbleweeds on E-bay, to the summer joys of sandlot baseball, and to the existence of a wall in his attic bedroom full of mysterious cupboard doors which turn out to be portals across time and space into the fantastic unknown. Wilson is a marvel at crafting delightful sentences, such as "The paint was scum brown, the sort that normally hides at the bottom of a pond, attractive only to leeches and easily pleased frogs." Henry is the perfect unlikely fantasy hero, a boy whose parents made him ride in a car seat until he was nine and gave him a protective helmet to wear in P.E. But it is hard to connect with a boy who asks about his absent parents, "Are they really my parents?" is told, "Nope," and then never asks anything about them again. Henry's journeys through cupboard after cupboard become tedious after a while, with too many magical vistas and villains, and the completely unresolved ending feels more like a cheat than a beckoning to read on through the proposed series. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.

About the Author, N. D. Wilson

N. D. Wilson is a Fellow of Literature at New Saint Andrews College, where he teaches classical rhetoric to freshmen. He is also the managing editor for Credenda/Agenda magazine, a small Trinitarian cultural journal. He lives in Moscow, Idaho with his wife and four children.

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