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100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  11,649 Ratings  ·  1,711 Reviews
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 t
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Molly Johnson Hey Violet,

I would love to help you out. Could you please be a bit more specific? I'll wait for your reply here or you could email me at…more
Hey Violet,

I would love to help you out. Could you please be a bit more specific? I'll wait for your reply here or you could email me at

With a flashlight under the covers,
Molly Johnson First of all, go hawkeyes! I am a diehard sports fan, and while I will not currently reveal my allegiance (kinda sore 'cause you guys beat us, badly,…moreFirst of all, go hawkeyes! I am a diehard sports fan, and while I will not currently reveal my allegiance (kinda sore 'cause you guys beat us, badly, this year) I must say that I bear no longterm ill will toward Iowa. I love the state, and I will occasionally root for the hawkeyes. There are definitely some teams whom I would rather be run over by a combine than root for. Congratulations. Iowa is not one of them.

Now that that important paragraph is out of the way, the question can be answered. I LOVE this book. If I could only pick one series to take with me on a desert island, it would probably be this one. (Or one of the author's other amazing series, the Ashtown Burials, which I would also highly recommend.) Now here's WHY you want to read it (in no particular order):

N.D. Wilson is truly hilarious. Even if the plot was TERRIBLE (which it totally isn't) I would still recommend this book. Another thing you should read? The author's bio page ( is something that takes two minutes to read and will have you on the floor laughing.

It's spectacular. Honestly, I don't know why this book isn't at least as big as Harry Potter. AT LEAST. Probably because the hidden world isn't revealed until later in the book?

What? No, I'm not going to tell you what it is. That would ruin it! But I'll give you a hint. It's alive. And cute. But don't insult it.

Ben, you're in the attic in your aunt and uncle's house in Kansas, because your parent's have been taken hostage while on a biking trip. You used a car seat until the age of seven, wore a helmet in P.E., and have never played baseball. Suddenly plaster starts falling on your head in bed. You scrape it off and find all of these cupboards behind the wall. Would you stop there? Maybe you'd take a break to go ride unbuckled in an old truck with your uncle to collect tumbleweeds to sell for seven thousand dollars on ebay, but you wouldn't just STOP! And then your uncle tries to cut down the door to the bedroom on the landing with a chain saw. And yes, he's perfectly sane, and yes, it makes sense.

If you aren't interested now, I don't think you'll ever be. But let me tell you, you WILL NOT regret reading this book. Please do.

With a flashlight under the covers,
The Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsEragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienArtemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
What To Read After Harry Potter
162nd out of 1,373 books — 5,037 voters
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine LeavittSummers at Castle Auburn by Sharon ShinnThe Seer and the Sword by Victoria HanleyFire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne JonesThe Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle
Hidden Gems: YA-Fantasy Novels
128th out of 1,621 books — 3,520 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Douglas Wilson
Jan 14, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it it was amazing
Nonbiased reviews under such circumstances are hard to come by. Great book.
Jun 09, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Shelves: ms-books
I'm quite conflicted about this book. On the one hand, the premise is fantastic-- a wall full of doorways into other worlds-- some benign, some not so much. But the names of the female characters were confusing-- they're all allusions to famous females (incl Dorothy from Kansas!)-- but i also kept forgetting how old the little girls were supposed to be, because they speak and act like different ages all the time. The town's name is Henry, and the two main kids are named Henry and Henrietta? Huh? ...more
Apr 13, 2008 Cindy rated it really liked it
Let me make one thing clear--the only reason I'm deducting the 5th star is because this book does not stand on it's own. It's very clearly the start of a series and I'm greatly annoyed that now I have to wait for the next installment. That being said, the scene with the chainsaw in the carpet is almost worth adding the 5th star back...

This is a creepy little children's fantasy. Give to fans of Charlie Bone, Coraline, Gregor the Overlander, the Narnia books, Chrestomanci, and yes that HP fellow.
Mar 27, 2009 Kristi rated it it was amazing
Wow! I really loved this book. Deliciously creepy elements blend with terrific characterization, poetic prose and exciting plot. Will update more in a bit!

{Edit}Now to add a bit more. I like how the author has taken classic fantasy tropes, "the lost Special One" "the Hidden World" "the Wise Fool" and blended them in new ways. I particularly like how Henry finds the world away from the smothering overprotective one his parents have created for him just as magical as the actual magical worlds he
Aug 08, 2015 Cindy rated it did not like it
I can't believe I made it all the way through to the end of this book. Maybe because I just kept waiting for something to happen and really it didn't. I have to give the author credit anyone that can literally write over 50 pages describing cupboards and one main setting of maybe a room. This book started out great but really I felt like I was in sand and going no where fast, and it just kept feeling to the end.

I think it was the writing style, the style was more of telling the reader then actu
Feb 13, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it
Scrub the bones. Great line, and one of the most memorable. This book felt like what C.S. Lewis would have been if he wasn't British, didn't drink tea and crumpets every day and enjoyed college basketball.
Jun 27, 2010 Sara rated it liked it
After a pretty slow start, this book got weird fast. One minute I'm waiting for some action and answers, the next I'm wondering how I fell into Tim Burton's brain. It got so weird that it was a little hard to understand at times. I'm fairly fantasy versed and even I had trouble interpreting some of the stuff towards the end of the book. Wilson really tried hard to start cramming in characters with speaking styles that were unique to their situation. Unfortunately, this will probably leave many ...more
Feb 15, 2009 Stacy rated it really liked it
WOW! Very interesting fantasy tale. I wonder why I hadn't ever heard of it? Henry is a guest in his Aunt and Uncle's home. He finds 99 cupboards covered up with plaster in the attic where he sleeps. Each leads to a different land/time--but too small to get through. Where is the other cupboard, you wonder? Well, I can't tell you that! You'll just have to read it yourself. Quite an interesting story. It reads almost like a Harry Potter. And, if you get your hands on the book, look at the back of ...more
Sep 25, 2007 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Mmm. Delicious. A good fantasy with enough original elements to keep it interesting. "Leepike Ridge" is better, no question, but I dare say this book stands apart from the normal fantasy-laden pack. See for yourself...
Mem Morman
Jun 17, 2014 Mem Morman rated it really liked it
This was recommended by - wait for it! - my GRAND-daughter. It's a children's book, and I like and read children's books, but I did find this pretty scary although I did enjoy it. Twelve year old Henry comes to stay with his aunt and uncle in Henry, Kansas hoping for a summer of baseball. Instead, or perhaps in addition, he finds that one wall of his attic bedroom is full of small cupboards with locked doors - and each goes somewhere not in this world. The characters (three cousins and two sets ...more
Leonardo Bruno
Oct 04, 2016 Leonardo Bruno rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Eu estava com muita expectativa para ler o universo ficcional de N. D. Wilson, e tudo o que posso dizer é que Barnabas Piper não exagerou quando disse que o sentimento que ficamos após a leitura dele é semelhante ao sentimento que encontramos na leitura de Lewis, Chesterton ou Tolkien (ok, estou em dívida para com último). Não é que os romances de Wilson sejam clássicos, diz Piper, mas que ele ecoa os clássicos em nobreza, tom e verdade. E concordo com essa análise porque este é um l
Jan 30, 2009 AM rated it liked it
I liked this. I want to say that first off least my issues be construed as revulsion. I read this book with the idea of presented it to a children's book club that I run at work. If I were reading for myself I probably would have relaxed into the story more and not be questioning everything. I don't tend to read Juvie Fantasy too deeply when reading for my own personal pleasure, but I need to talk about this among a group.
First the tone seems to shift from the overly descriptive literary tone
Tamora Pierce
Apr 11, 2009 Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-ya-yr
How can it get better--100 small cupboards hidden under plaster in an ordinary-looking Kansas house where Henry has come to await word on his parents, travel writers being held by Columbian kidnappers. His aunt, uncle, and three girl cousins seem perfectly ordinary, but there's a ghost who comes and goes from dead Grandpa's locked room, and there are those cupboards hidden behind Henry's bedroom wall. Henry is a cautious, careful hero, somewhat adrift in the world, sucked into dangerous ...more
Nov 10, 2012 Rosemary rated it really liked it
Nate Wilson has a unique gift. He takes you away into another world with his imaginative story telling, but with such realistic characters and life circumstances you feel like you're reading about your next door neighbor.
I especially love his word pictures! They are so vivid, clever, and original. The depth of plot, which is often missed in fiction, adds substance yet without weighing down the story.
Nate also sells his characters well and by chapter two I already loved Aunt Dotty, sympathized
Barnabas Piper
Apr 26, 2016 Barnabas Piper rated it really liked it
Develops a little slower than Wilson's other novels and is a little more convoluted. Those aren't bad things - just a different flavor. Still a fun story and definitely intriguing.
Kat Heckenbach
Oct 17, 2016 Kat Heckenbach rated it really liked it
I picked up this series because I loved ND Wilson's Ashtown Burials series. This one is for a bit younger audience, and stars Henry, whose parents are missing. He gets sent to live with his aunt and uncle, where he discovers a wall of strange cupboards on his attic bedroom wall. Each leads to a different place--some pleasant, some not so pleasant, and at least one harboring something evil.

Lots of mischief and exploring, but the kids-Henry and his three girl cousins--are just trying to figure ou
Kate Willis
Sep 19, 2016 Kate Willis rated it it was ok
I loved the concept of this book, and the writing style was so delightful! The characters had depth (and surprises to them!), and the rural American setting was really cute. Uncle Frank was my absolute favorite, and the (view spoiler) was so neat. (view spoiler) My favorite cupboard was definitely (view spoiler) ...more
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Apr 21, 2008 Roxanne Hsu Feldman rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, bestbooks
I was intrigued by the cover right away. And as I read, I kept thinking, wow, for once, the book and the cover are really perfectly matched: in its mysterious, dark, and slightly creepy tone; in its attention to details; in its sense of originality. I appreciate quite a bit of this title. Really enjoyed how Wilson handles the relationships between Henry and Frank and between Henry and Henrietta. I am glad that Frank's and Dotty's seeming (and tremendously convenient) absentmindedness can be ...more
Rachel Lightwood

• The characters were fantastic. I loved Henry and how he wasn't portrayed as being your typical, confident hero but a much more believable child - yet still adorably quirky and timid - protagonist he was. The relationships between his cousins, Henrietta, Penny and Anastasia, were also done incredibly well. Anastasia was such a typical little miss and she made me laugh so much. Zeke was also a sweetie. I just wanted to squish his little cheeks.

• The writing worked. It was a little weird an
Dec 12, 2010 Nura rated it really liked it
Henry York, dua belas tahun, hanya ingin hidup normal. Tapi hidupnya malah penuh kejutan setelah ia tinggal di kediaman paman dan bibinya di Kansas. Karena tidak ada kamar kosong yang tersedia, Henry terpaksa tidur di loteng. Di sana ia menemukan 99 pintu lemari dalam berbagai bentuk, warna, dan ukuran yang disembunyikan di balik dinding kamarnya.

Sejak menemukan pintu lemari tersebut, kejadian-kejadian aneh mulai menghampiri. Henry dilukai oleh makhluk dari balik pintu lemari yang terhubung den
Jun 16, 2016 Alicia rated it liked it
This book started off slow and I almost gave it up. Then things got super creepy all of a sudden. I read this at night while up with my baby and at one point I will admit that I had to get back up and close a cupboard that was ajar within my visual range because I'd just finished reading the sequence where Henrietta puts her hand through the cupboard to Endor (and I was thinking the whole time, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, DON'T REACH YOUR HAND INTO THE CREEPY CUPBOARD YOU CRAZY CHILD!) I wouldn't ...more
For a modern children's fantasy, in all its derivative glory, I really enjoyed this. It's not blazing any new ground, and it uses more than a few fantasy cliches (Henry's an orphan! taken in by his aunt and uncle! And his makeshift attic bedroom holds SECRETS! A locked door downstairs! An old man Henry can't remember! Cupboards that go to OTHER WORLDS!) but it still manages to feel fresh and fun. It helps that we're more than halfway through the book before anyone goes through any of the ...more
Dec 12, 2008 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, younger
When his over-protective parents are kidnapped while on vacation, Henry is sent to stay with relatives in a small Kansas town. When the plaster in his attic bedroom is cracked, Henry discovers strange cupboards, all different from one another, and mysterious compass locks. He and the oldest of his cousins explore the mystery and have adventures (I won't be any more specific because I don't want to give away the plot). I thought the book had some good imagery, and the characters of Henry and his ...more
Megan Lane
Aug 14, 2016 Megan Lane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is currently 1:27 am. I just finished this. I think I will regret this decision in the morning. But for now, I'm content.
Very good book. Wilson is a talented author. I like this story, and I like the characters. The Willis family is charming at the beginning, comfortable at the end.
Part of me wishes Henry had told Frank about everything, instead of trying to figure it out on his own. But I also realize that would have changed a lot, and I still loved the way it was.
I have more I could say,
Rose M.
Feb 05, 2015 Rose M. rated it it was amazing
I think that this book was really interesting because it was mysterious and suspenseful. I liked how Henry could go into the cupboards because they were portals that lead to other places. It was like he could go anywhere that he wanted to go to. I really loved it and I would recommend it to anyone but I won't spoil anything. Of course that there is conflict in the book but I won't say anything because you all have to read it to find out what happens in it. It is a series and I would like to read ...more
Oct 26, 2016 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first of a trilogy. Set in Kansas, this is a story of a young boy who discovers numerous worlds behind cupboard doors in an attic. (This and other plot elements are reminiscent of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, and The Indian in the Cupboards books.) No one goes through the cupboards until about halfway through the book. Gets creepy with the witch, around whom the final conflict (in this book) revolves.

Also listened to the audio version (9780739362785) in October 2016.
Jun 02, 2016 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Just finished reading to my older kids, aged 7 & 9, and they were enthralled. It definitely started out pretty slow, but picked up pace half way through till we couldn't put it down in the last three or four chapters. I skimmed over a few bad attitudes and teasing between siblings that I didn't appreciate. It does has some scary parts so read with caution for the younger set. Excited to read more!
Oct 05, 2009 Raina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j, creepyish
Henry goes to live with his extended family in the middle of Kansas. In his attic room he discovers a plastered-over wall of cupboards. Turns out, each cupboard leads to another realm/place/time. Creepy like Coraline, though not quite so much, fun little hook. Good 5th-6th grade booktalk.
Jesse Broussard
Apr 20, 2008 Jesse Broussard rated it it was amazing
Better than Leepike, more fun and--God forgive me--I found it comparable (not even or better, mind you, but comparable) to the Chronicles of Narnia. Cannot wait for the next installment, and no, he's not letting me read the manuscript. And here I used to like his class...
Jun 04, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I REALLY enjoyed that book! The mystery of the cupboards kept me guessing until the last page. I loved Henry and his cousins and couldn't believe what happened towards the end. Love love loved it!
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“Woman and children behind the lines!' he yelled, and all the girls jumped. Henry froze with his mouth open. 'Bang the drum slowly and ask not for whom the bell's ringing, for the answer's unfriendly!' He threw a fist in the air. 'Two years have my black ships sat before Troy, and today its gate shall open before the strength of my arm.' Dotty was laughing from the kitchen. Frank looked at his nephew. 'Henry, we play baseball tomorrow. Today we sack cities. Dots! Fetch me my tools! Down with the French! Once more into the breach, and fill the wall with our coward dead! Half a league! Half a league! Hey, batter, batter!'
Frank brought his fist down onto the table, spilling Anastasia's milk, and then he struck a pose with both arms above his head and his chin on his chest. The girls cheered and applauded. Aunt Dotty stepped back into the dining room carrying a red metal toolbox.”
“You can't buy history new.” 7 likes
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