by N.D. Wilson
I bought this book at Target…it was an unexpected buy because I normally never browse the book section at Target, but this day I did and the cover grabbed my interest and after reading the back cover, the story grabbed my interest too. Then came the price issue. Those who know me or read my blog regularly know that I do not like to pay full price for books. It’s not that I don’t want to support the author – I just can’t see myself spending over $20 for a book. 100 Cupboards was priced at $6.99 which I thought was an okay price, and so I took it off the shelf and placed it into my cart; from there it made the journey home with me. Was I glad I purchased this book? Well, let’s see…
100 Cupboards introduces a young boy named Henry York who is not your typical youngster. Raised by parents who were older, he rarely was allowed to do the things other kids his age were doing, such as playing baseball. Then the unthinkable happens, his parents are kidnapped and Henry has to stay with his Aunt and Uncle from Kansas. Shortly after arriving, Henry discovers a mysterious wall covered in cupboards in his attic bedroom. Most of the cupboard doors are locked, but a few of them are not and this allows Henry a glimpse into different places. One door looks into a place that seems to connect to a normal post office, but another carries the stench of evil… Wanting to know more about these cupboards, Henry soon embarks on an adventure he never imaged could exist as he looks for answers that ultimately could change his life forever!
Book 1 in a series of 3, 100 Cupboards is a fun and imaginative tale involving some very interesting characters. From the beginning the story was shrouded in mystery, and this kept my interest as I read through the book. When Henry discovered the wall and was uncovering the different cupboards, I found myself glancing at the cover of the book to try to find the one he just uncovered. Which brings me to the wonderful cover art on the front and back of the book; I absolutely loved the artwork! It helped bring me into the story and the mystery surrounding the wall of doors. What more do you need to peak your curiosity than a bunch of old locked doors? Anything could be behind them, and that was one reason I kept reading page after page.
The beginning and middle of the book progressed nicely. There was character and plot development, but I do have to say the ending chapters of the book picked up the pace and rushed the reader through a lot of different adventures and discoveries within a very short amount of time. A fun way to learn more about the cupboards, but as a reader I wanted more information about the different places Henry discovered. I guess that’s where I get to use my imagination, LOL. Kudos to the author, N.D. Wilson, for making me want to know more!
Okay, I know this book was written for kids but I do have to say there was definitely a creepy factor to the book. One of the cupboards was dark, cold, and sent shivers down Henry’s spine. Again, the unknown factor played a part in igniting my imagination and it made certain parts of the story foreboding. Lights please! Keep this in mind if you have children with vivid imaginations.
Overall 100 Cupboards was a winner in my book! It kept me reading, the characters were believable, and the plot was well developed. This is a book I would recommend for any aged reader 9 and up who loves to emerge themselves in fantasy and magic. Although if this was a read aloud with a parent, I’d say younger listeners around 7 or 8 will also enjoy this story (dependant on the child). Remember there are some scary aspects to the story, which might frighten those readers that have vivid imaginations.
100 Cupboards is book #1 out of 3. This is the only one I’ve read, but I am looking forward to purchasing and reading the next two.
Did you know there might be a movie soon? In 2010 the rights were sold, but as of today there hasn’t been any new developments towards this idea.
Sidebar: I’ve read a few reviews that say N.D. Wilson stole his story idea from C.S. Lewis. I’m a huge fan of Narnia, and N.D. Wilson was inspired by Lewis (see side quote), but I very much doubt he stole from him. Yes, the idea of doors leading into different worlds does mirror Lewis’ work, but writers are often inspired by writers who are themselves inspired by writers…so is there really an originality of work? It’s more about the development of the story. One idea, although shared by multiple authors, will tell a different story by each. And this is the case here.