100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards Series #1)

100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards Series #1)

4.1 301
by N. D. Wilson

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Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing…  See more details below


Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers 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 pacing back and forth! Henry soon understands that these are not just cupboards, but 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 inimitable style.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Children's Literature - Jeanne K. Pettenati J.D.
Henry York, a typical, overprotected East Coast boy, is sent to live with his aunt, uncle and cousins after his journalist parents are kidnapped in South America. Henry lands in Kansas and reconnects with his three girl cousins on their farm in the heartland. Aunt Dottie and quirky Uncle Fred are well-meaning and set out to make Henry feel at home. On one level this is a coming-of-age story for Henry, who learns to play baseball and relate to his new circumstances. On another level it is the fantastical story of cupboards that are portals to other worlds, an evil witch out to drink Henry's blood, and the discovery that the kidnapped journalists are not really his parents. Henry learns about imagination and taking charge from his cousin Henrietta, who becomes his partner in solving the mystery of the cupboards. The concept and story line are interesting, but things get disjointed for listeners when Henry and Henrietta begin to explore other worlds through the portals. Too many new facts, characters, and terms are introduced without context and without being properly woven into the story. With the written version of this book, readers are able to go back and reread passages to help make sense of new twists in the plot. This is harder to do with an audio book. Henry is a likable boy but does not make a strong impression on listeners. This unabridged audio book features five compact discs; listening time is approximately six and one-half hours. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.
School Library Journal

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

From the Publisher
“Well crafted and gratifying.”—School Library Journal

“A highly imaginative tale.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
100 Cupboards Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.74(d)
650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

100 Cupboards

By N.D. Wilson

Random House Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2007 N.D. Wilson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780375838811

Henry, Kansas, is a hot town. And a cold town. It is a town so still there are times when you can hear a fly trying to get through the window of the locked-up antique store on Main Street. Nobody remembers who owns the antique store, but if you press your face against the glass, like the fly, you'll see that whoever they are, they don't have much beyond a wide variety of wagon wheels. Yes, Henry is a still town. But there have been tornadoes on Main Street. If the wind blows, it's like it won't ever stop. Once it's stopped, there seems to be no hope of getting it started again.
There is a bus station in Henry, but it isn't on Main Street. It's one block north--the town fathers hadn't wanted all the additional traffic. The station lost one- third of its roof to a tornado fifteen years ago. In the same summer, a bottle rocket brought the gift of fire to its restrooms. The damage has never been repaired, but the town council makes sure that the building is painted fresh every other year, and always the color of a swimming pool. There is never graffiti. Vandals would have to drive more than twenty miles to buy the spray paint.

Every once in a long while, a bus creeps into town and eases to a stop beside the mostly roofed, bright aqua station with the charred bathrooms. Henry is always gladto see a bus. Such treats are rare.

On this day, the day our story begins, bus hopes were high. The Willis family was expecting their nephew, and the mister and missus stood on the curb waiting for his arrival.

Mrs. Willis couldn't hold nearly as still as the town. She was brimful of nervous energy and busily stepped on and off the curb as if she were waiting for the bus to take her off to another lifetime of grammar school and jump rope. She had planned to wear her best dress on principle--it was the sort of thing her mother would have done--but she had no idea which of her dresses was best, or how to begin the selection process. It was even possible that she didn't have a dress that was best.
So she had remained in her sweatpants and T-shirt. She had been canning in her kitchen and looked pleasant despite the faded teal of her pants. Her face was steam-ruddied and happy, and her brown hair, which had originally been pulled back into a ponytail, had struggled free. On this day, if you got close enough, as her nephew would when hugged, she smelled very strongly of peaches. She was of medium build in every direction, and she was called Dotty by her friends, Dots by her husband, and Mrs. Willis by everyone else.

People liked Dotty. They said she was interesting. They rarely did the same for her husband. They said Mr. Willis was thin, and they didn't just mean physically thin. They meant thin everywhere and every way. Dotty saw much more than thin, and she liked him. Frank Willis didn't seem to notice much of anything beyond that.
Mrs. Willis stopped her stepping and backed away from the curb. Something was shimmering on the highway. The bus was coming. She nudged Frank and pointed. He didn't seem to notice.

The Henry on the bus was not a town in Kansas. He was simply a twelve-year-old boy on a slow bus from Boston, waiting to meet an aunt and uncle he had not seen since the age of four. He was not looking forward to reuniting with Aunt Dotty and Uncle Frank. Not because he in any way disliked them, but because he had led a life that had taught him not to look forward to anything.

The bus stopped amid a shower of metallic grunts. Henry walked to the front, said goodbye to a talkative old woman, and stepped onto the curb into a lung-taste of diesel. The bus lurched off, the taste faded, and he found that he was being held tight by someone rather soft, though not large, and the smell of diesel had been replaced by peaches. His aunt held him back by the shoulders, her smile faded, and she became suddenly serious.

"We are both so sorry about your parents," she said. She was diligently eye-wrestling him. Henry couldn't quite look away. "But we are very happy you're going to be staying with us. Your cousins are all excited."

Someone patted Henry on the shoulder. He looked up.

"Yep," Uncle Frank said. He was watching the bus march out the other end of town.

"The truck's over here," he added, and gestured with his head.

Uncle Frank carried Henry's duffel bag while Aunt Dotty escorted him to the truck, one arm tightly wrapped around his shoulder. It was an old truck. A few decades earlier, it may have been a Ford. Then it had been donated as a shop-class project to Henry High. Uncle Frank bought it at an end-of-the-year fundraiser. The paint was scum brown, the sort that normally hides at the bottom of a pond, attractive only to leeches and easily pleased frogs. The class had not been able to afford the bigger wheels they had dreamed of, so they had simply lifted the truck body as high as the instructor would allow. The overall effect was one of startling ricketiness. Henry's bag was thrown into the truck bed.

"Hop in," Uncle Frank said, and pointed in the back. "The tailgate doesn't drop, so just stand on the tire there and hoick yourself over. I'll boost you a bit."

Henry stood on the tire and teetered for a moment, trying to get one leg over the edge of the truck bed. Uncle Frank pushed him from behind, and he tumbled in onto his side.


Excerpted from 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson Copyright © 2007 by N.D. Wilson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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100 Cupboards 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 301 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I work in the Children's Department at a Barnes & Noble store, and I read all the kids' books I can, just because I love many of them. I think a good story is a good story, regardless of the age it is written for; indeed, sometimes the best stories are the ones written by authors who were not targeting a specific audience, but writing simply to write. I loved 100 Cupboards. (Another bookseller read it and enjoyed it, and so several of us picked it up and all loved it.) It was well-written in a fresh and unique style, and I found the characters and plot interesting and just different enough from the usual fantasy fare that it stands out. Henry, the protagonist, is an odd boy, which I think some readers will identify with; his cousins are funny and realistic kids. I liked how nice his aunt and uncle were to him after his growing up with bizarre parents, and I think it's implied that they weren't caring enough. The worlds the cupboards lead to are interesting, scary, odd - even the boring one -- the post office -- is interesting. Why a post office? I like that. The author has about a hundred possibilities for stories with all the cupboards in Henry's attic room, and he barely scrapes the surface in this book. I hope very much that we find out more about Henry's world, his parents, and all those other worlds in future books. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a slightly different fantasy book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my son who is 9yr old. He hasn't really been a reader, but he enjoyed diary of a wimpy kid a lot and we were looking for something that could hold his attention. He loves this book. He read 65 pages in the first sitting! The characters are interesting and fun to follow. The suspense is just right for kids this age. Well written. A fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
100 cupboards is an exelent book. Some parts were really scary,it made it hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
100 Cupboards, By N.D. Wilson is an amazing book, you can not put it down. This book gets more and more exiting as it goes. A definite Nail biter! if you are looking for a thrilling fantasy book, this is the one for you. So Read N.D Wilson's Book, 100 Cupboards today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a seventh grader from London. It is not a scary book but it is sure exciting. There are certain bits where it is confusing but it sorts out. My only objection to this book is that it started so bloody slow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of twists and surprises, a GREAT read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books that i have ever read before in my whole entire
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing!!! It has details and a intresting and exiting plot. The chareters have flaws and talents. The series even get better from here with some unexpected surprises.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book a couple years ago and i loved it. Yesterday I saw it and bought it, it was way better the first time! I reccomend it for ages 6 and up. It is a great book
Victoria-Star More than 1 year ago
Oh of course, fantasy these days is a hard topic. It's a mess and pile of Harry Potter wanna-bes, Twilight wanna-be's, and absoutely everything in between poorly written, poorly executed, and just plain..boring. But thank heaven, fantasy lovers rejoice, this book is a breath of fresh air. Henry York is lying awake one night to find plaster crumbling from his wall...onto his head. Not sleepy, he chisels away until he discovers...one whole side of his attic wall is entirely cupboards of every shape and size imaginable. And...they all lead to different places. Some mysterious, some enchanting, and some...evil beyond words. I've long awaited to read this novel, after hearing hype after hype about it. When it finally was avaible at my huge local library, i grabbed it eagerly, and just about finished it in a day. N.D. Wilson's got some pretty good stuff here. It's a simple but engaging, not to mention ORINGINAL (which counts for EVERYthing these days! Harry Potter wanna-be, anyone?) and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The characters are loveable, the story is unique, the settings easy to imagine, and the writing is simple yet clever. As I have said in my title, it's the perfect summer read becuase it's not 100 pages yet, but goes by FAST, and it's satisying and great for a stormy summer night on the porch, and later, since you can't put it down, under the covers. As for content, it'll make parents happy. No language, sexual content, and mild violence. Some things, such as man eating wolves and angry witches, might upset or frighten very young children but this book isn't intended for the ages that might be scared by it. It would also be a wonderful family read out-loud. So that's the pros...now, even though this is a delightful book, there's still some cons, as even the greatest books possess. This whole story was building up to an amazing ending...and that, it did not have. It left me wanting more, and making sure I hadn't skipped pages. The ending is lacking the sparkle and excitment the rest of this book was, i was expecting KAPOW! and got not even a rumble of thunder. Sure, the author wanted his readers hungry for more (cough cough- sequel) but doesn't this book deserve to be a stand alone? Certainly. But with the ending it contains, this book could never be one. what does that make it lack? substance. Also, of course, with a whole wall of 99 cupboards you'd think some of them would lead to some pretty amazing places...which, okay, okay, they did...just not what I was expecting. At all. Don't expect any Mad Hatters or freaky parents with button eyes, people. Those cupboard doors might as well lead to your basment. When they are wicked and evil places, they're places that could leave you yawning. Again, i suspected KAPOW and got...a whisper. I won't give away the hidden worlds behind the cupboards, so you can see for yourself, for they just weren't quite exciting enough for me. Or maybe we just don't know enough about them yet. (see sequel, which i haven't read yet) Last but not least, some of the author's descriptions seemed messy and confusing. Some I had to read twice, three times to grasp what he was talking about. All these cons are VERY VERY minor, and thus this book still begs to be read and shared. A delightful book. clean, exciting, a heck of an adventure. Give it to kids (AND adults) who are craving a summer adventure in their backyards. ~thanks for reading!~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Introduction Henry was having a normal night sleep, when he had been woken up to find his room covered with small tiny pieces of plaster from the wall. A couple cupboards peeked out of the now deteriorating wall. He observed the wall to find there were even more cupboards that were in different shapes and sizes and were also all locked. Henry now had to find out why there are one hundred cupboards. Description and summary of main points A twelve-year old boy named Henry York had to move from his home to a small and quiet town in Henry, Kansas. His mom and dad were kidnapped, while they were on an adventure through a different country so he moved to a farm owned by his uncle, aunt, and three cousins. The white three-story house was suspicious to Henry and on the second floor Henry’s grandfather’s room was suspiciously locked and has been for two years. A couple of days later Henry was in bed to wake up to find bits of plaster on the floor and a couple of cupboards to magically appear on the walls. Over a period of time several cupboards covered the wall in Henry’s room that where small passageways to different places. Evaluation I think this book is a very interesting and entertaining book to read. The first time someone scans their eyes in the book they will become hooked and won’t want to put it down. The plot flows perfectly and is very easily to follow along. Even though it gets scary at some parts the novel has a perfect amount of suspense. I would recommend to everyone that they should read it. Conclusion 100 Cupboards is a book that is a new series where a young boy tries to find out why there are one hundred cupboards in his room. Henry moved to a town called Henry and found that there were several cupboards on the wall. He finds that each one goes to a mystical place almost like a portal. This book is a very good book. Your final review I believe this book is highly recommended to read. This book is very interesting and very easy to read. This book is amazing and excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book but would not read it again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The CHILDRES LITURATURE in editorial got the names wrong. Its dotty and frank not dottie and fred
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Travel writers Phil and Ursula York of Boston, MA, the parents of timid twelve-year-old Henry, have been kidnapped while riding bicycles in Colombia, so Henry goes to Henry, KS, to live with his uncle and aunt, Frank and Dorothy (Dotty) Willis and his three cousins, Henrietta, Anastasia, and Penelope. He is given a bedroom in the attic and one night, after hearing some thumping and scratching, discovers that there are 100 cupboard doors under the plaster, which he proceeds to remove. Then he and Henrietta explore the doors which seem to open into other worlds, meeting several odd characters along the way like a boy named Richard Leeds, the strange little man Eli FitzFaeren, and the evil witch Nimiane. What will happen to Henry and Henrietta? Will they be able to get back home? And exactly who is Henry anyway? Author Nathan David Wilson, born in 1978, is the son of Reformed minister Douglas Wilson whose name is well known among homeschool circles as a proponent of classical Christian education. N. D. is a 1999 graduate of New Saint Andrews College, and holds a master’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD (2001). He served as a part-time Lecturer at New Saint Andrews from 2001-2004, was promoted to Fellow of Literature in the fall of 2004, and still teaches as a professor of classical rhetoric part-time. Formerly he served as the managing editor for Credenda/Agenda magazine. His first children’s novel was Leepike Ridge, an adventure story. 101 Cupboards is the opening book of the Henry York fantasy trilogy, followed by Dandelion Fire and The Chestnut King. Wilson has now begun a new series, “The Ashtown Burials,” which will be comprised of five novels beginning with The Dragon's Tooth and The Drowned Vault. Based on reviews, I was really looking forward to reading 101 Cupboards. Was I disappointed? No. Was I overwhelmed? Not necessarily. It was adequate, all right, okay, pretty good. The plot starts out a little slowly while the characters are introduced and the stage is set, but it builds up to plenty of action and excitement later on. There is little objectionable. I did note a couple of references to drinking beer. Certain creepy, magical elements, such as when Nimiane feeds off people’s blood, might be a little frightening to some children on the younger end of the targeted reading level and those who are a bit sensitive. However, anyone who likes the bizarre and doesn’t mind a bit of scariness should enjoy the book. A few loose ends are left at the close, but this opens the door (pun not originally intended, but it fits) for the sequels. I guess that I would like to read the other two books, but I really don’t feel any mad rush to go out and get them immediately.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am just amazed at how good it is! I think just about anyone could fall in love with it. I also could not stop reading it. AMAZING!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the 100 cuboards. The beginning was a bit slow but you have got to read on. You dont find out much about the cuboards until the second book, " Dandelion Fire". If you are one for adventure, or just cant sit still, this might just be the story you have been waiting for!!! I recommend it , and you will to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I tried this book and instantly fell in love. At first i was a little skittish about reading, but read first chapter and liked it almost as much as Percy Jackson. EVERYONE NEEDS THIS GREAT BOOK!!!! IT'S AWESOME!!!!!
Felicity559j More than 1 year ago
I'm a 5th grade teacher. I read the book with the hopes that it would be a great sci-fi book to read to the class during English Language Arts. Well...this book EXCEEDED my expectations. It was a bit of a slow start, but I contribute that to the author setting up the scene, establishing the characters, and preparing the reader for the literary ride. If you looking for an interesting book (and series), then you've made the right choice with 100 Cupboards! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a bookseller at Barnes and Noble, sometimes it is super hard to find a great read, because you hear about so many "fantastic" books. I really loved 100 Cupboards because it quickly drew me in and kept my interest. This is a book that I truly could not put down, and I always found myself wanting to read "just one more chapter" when I knew I should have really been going to bed because I had work in the morning. Anyone who loves a great story and adventure should read this book, and the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing!!!!!!!!
mlockridge More than 1 year ago
A fun read. I have always loved juvenile fiction, from the days when they were age appropriate for me to the present. A span measured in decades.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With humor, horror, and a little bit of mystery, this book will have you on the edge of your seat. An easy read that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anybody who loves fantasy books will have a new favorite with 100 Cupboards. It is a portal to another world of fantasy. When you start you wont be able to stop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. It only gets better with the other two in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome i love it!