100 Cupboards: The 100 Cupboards, Book 1 Book Poster Image

100 Cupboards: The 100 Cupboards, Book 1

Brilliant idea. Flawed execution. Exciting anyway.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The children impulsively do things they know are dangerous, and don't tell adults when in life-threatening situations.


A hand is cut off, children hear (but don't see) a crowd of people being killed, a boy bashes a witch's head with a baseball bat

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An adult smokes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's a smattering of violence, not graphic, and the tone throughout is tense and suspenseful.

What's the story?

Staying with relatives in Kansas since his parents have been kidnapped in Colombia, Henry discovers 99 cupboard doors hidden behind the wall of his attic bedroom. Soon he and his cousin Henrietta realize that they are portals into other worlds. Behind one of the doors is an evil and powerful witch who has been imprisoned there for a very long time, and is eager to escape. And Henry also begins to learn of his own strange past, and that of his uncle and grandfather.

Is it any good?


There's no doubt this is a brilliant idea. Doors that lead to other worlds offer unlimited potential for adventure and magic taking place over a multi-volume series, as this is intended to be. Think of the Wood Between the Worlds in The Magician's Nephew (which also starts in an attic), and you'll get the idea. Unfortunately, at least in this first volume of the series, that idea doesn't pan out too well. Will kids like it? Absolutely. But it could have been so much better.

The first problem is that the reader gets to spend hardly any time in those other worlds. What little interaction the characters do have with other worlds, of course, say it all together -- AWAKENS AN ANCIENT EVIL. Really? Another one? More problematic is that there is nary a likable character to be found anywhere in this story, aside from one very minor character who only really enters the story near the end. It's hard to care about people who are so annoying, and who drive the plot primarily through willfully dimwitted impulsiveness. There's some exciting action, quite a bit of suspense, and a whole attic-full of potential here. In the next volume, the author would do well to make the characters more relatable, and to get them into those other worlds for awhile.

From the Book:
He sat up. A piece of plaster rolled down his forehead, bounced on the tip of his nose, and landed on his chest. He ran one hand through his hair, and more bits of his wall dropped onto his lap. He looked up.

Above him, two small knobs protruded from the plaster of his wall. One of the knobs was turning, very slightly. A small, scraping noise grew until a final thump rained fine plaster dust down on Henry and his bed.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the idea of other worlds and universes. They appear in many books and movies. Do you think they could be real? Could there be gateways to other universes here on earth? Would you like to find one? What would you do if you had the 100 cupboards? Would you have listened to the warnings?

Book details

Author:N. D. Wilson
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:December 1, 2007
Number of pages:289

This review of 100 Cupboards: The 100 Cupboards, Book 1 was written by

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Kid, 10 years old April 11, 2011

love this book u gotta read it

i think this book is the beast book because it is a little scary some times then some times funny its a great book for people that love scary/mystery books.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byI love the book... April 3, 2011

Good but expected more......

Good book that's full of imagination. This book keeps us guessing what was behind those cupboards and how they came to be. However, it could have been better executed in the beginning making it more exciting. There is both a good message and a bad message in 100 Cupboards, the good message being to use your imagination. The bad message was telling us to not tell adults about our problems as Henry and Henrietta (the two main characters) didn't tell their parents about their exploration to other worlds. This resulted in chaos and so this bad message king of twisted back into a good message. Overall a good book. It is slightly geared towards the younger crowd but a great book for an adult and a kid to share together.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent Written bytiffinya March 14, 2010

Imaginative and exciting, better for older kids

Great story, very imaginative and exciting, but a little scary too. Too old for my 6 year old I think, in hindsight, but he likes scary stuff so wasn't disturbed by it... The kids going places without telling anyone or asking was not great role modeling... Overall was a good message and about finding where you belong and kind of a coming of age for Henry, the main character, as well... We listened to the recorded version - great performer!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages