Twelve-year-old Henry York is an ordinary boy, ordinary, that is, until his athletic
parents are kidnapped during a cyclist competition one sunny afternoon. This forces
Henry to move to Henry, Kansas with his warm aunt, boring uncle, and three (girl!)
cousins on a dingy old farm in the middle of nowhere. Things aren’t looking too well
for poor Henry.
Even when he lives in a town that barely is a mile long, has no electronics,
lives in a small cramped closet for a room, and has no electronics to speak of, he’s
able to make it through when he discovers a mysterious secret behind his bedroom
wall. He can hear something scratching against the plaster at night.
When he slowly chips off the wall, he discovers cupboards. A lot of them.
hours and hours of work and sore thumbs, he and his cousin Henrietta find a bunch of
different cupboards. Small ones, big ones, strange ones, normal ones, even one that
doesn‘t look like a cupboard. Then after Henry and his cousin count them up, they
are amazed at the count: 99 cupboards. 99 different cupboards to explore and create
mayhem inside of them.
Henry and Henrietta are soon caught up in a
whirlwind of adventure. There is a light filtering through one cupboard, a post
office in the next, a man pacing back and forth inside. In another cupboard, there are slimy
slugs from a hurricane, slathering Henry's bed covers in disgusting goop. He gets
letters from different lands, one filled with grass and happiness, another filled
with a dark landscape and terrifying past.
Henry is soon faced with horrific
creatures, the worst one of all a witch bent on killing him and everyone inside
Henry, Kansas. Henry and Henrietta soon realize that these cupboards, though connected
to magical worlds, are also portals to desolate and dangerous things. Maybe, just maybe,
Henry can defeat the witch with a Swiss army blade and the help of a hundredth cupboard.
This book took me in right from the beginning, filled with action and
magic spells, evil wolves and fantasy jumping out from the page. The author
creates a wonderful pattern of suspense and surprises. This is one book you have to
read - I dare you!
N. D. Wilson was inspired to write this book after a house fire that
sent him to live in the attic on his grandparents' farm. The ceilings were moldy
and low, and a nasty cooler was next to the end window. There was a very curious
crawl space along the wall that ran the length of the attic on two sides. If
there were secret passages hidden in the cracks of these crawlspaces, he never found
them (not that he didn’t try). Right now he lives in Idaho with his wife and
four children. If you become a fan of this book or want more information, Wilson's website is www.ndwilson.com.