Home School Book Review, January 15, 2013 (view all comments by Home School Book Review)
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.
gerer601, May 20, 2008 (view all comments by gerer601)
I went to the powell's book reading by the author of 100 cupboards on the 12 of may for class a project. I loved the way he explained his book so much i bought two copies!!! I finnished reading it two days later!!! THIS BOOK ROCKS!!!!
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Random House Books for Young Readers -
by Kirkus Reviews,
"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 intriguing cover art, title, and premise will suck in readers....The story is chilling, but the creepy quotient never exceeds the book's target audience."
by The Horn Book Magazine,
"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."
After his parents are kidnapped, timid twelve-year-old Henry York leaves his sheltered Boston life and moves to small-town Kansas, where he and his cousin Henrietta discover and explore hidden doors in his attic room that seem to open onto other worlds.
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