Sunday, December 7, 2014

100 Cupboards

100 Cupboards by N. B. Wilson

Summary: Henry is sent to live with his uncle, aunt, and three cousins in Kansas when his parents are taken hostage while in another country. Henry has never lived the life of a normal boy, and while he hopes his parents are safe, he isn't sure he is really worried about them. They have never been around much for one thing, and when they were they overly protected him. Now, with summer in front of him, Henry wants to do things normal boys do - such as playing baseball.What he doesn't plan on is finding cupboards in the walls of his bedroom which lead to other worlds. With his cousin Henrietta at his side, Henry is about to uncover a secret about not only his own past, but that of his family.

I know I say that the thing which draws me to books is characters, but this book has had one of the best cast of characters I've read in a while. Usually in stories the adult characters take a background role or are stern, snappish, or dead. This is one of the few stories were the adult characters are just as lovable as the kids. And the family is amazing.

Henry is likable right off. The moment he stepped off the bus I loved him. He is a quiet boy who keeps a lot of his thoughts to himself but doesn't hesitate to snap at Henrietta. (She kind of has the ability to bring out the worst in people.) He is a little timid and shy and uncertain of himself. However, he is willing to try new things, even if it scares him. At the same time, he has the sense to avoid doing stupid things. Not that he was able to escape the act of stupid things - after all, he spent all his time with Henrietta.

Henrietta isn't scared to speak her mind. She isn't scared of much of anything and has a strong curiosity. She is the one determined to look into all the cupboards, and find a way to visit the other worlds. She doesn't think things through and that gets her into trouble, but she also cares about her family and wants to keep them safe. She was reckless in the fun way and must of the time when she did something stupid I couldn't blame her because I probably would have done the same thing.

I think though, if I had to pick a favourite, it would be Uncle Frank. Frank had wild schemes. Frank let his kids and Henry ride in the back of his rickety truck as he spend over the dirt roads. Frank thought boys should sleep in in the summer because it was good for their growth. Frank didn't ask questions about why Henry was hiding plaster in a hole or sleeping out in the damp grass. Frank took a chain saw to a door in his house and cut up the carpet and floor and didn't bat an eye. Frank is one of the most lovable, amazing, understanding, fun dads who ever entered the book world and I loved him to pieces and wanted an uncle just like him. He was blunt, sweet, and got into fake arguments with his wife. (Also, Aunt Dotty. How many wives find a chain saw in their floor and don't bat an eye or yell. I loved their relationship. It was adorable and sweet.)

Of course, the plot was great too. Not only was there the mystery about the cupboards but it had all those great summer moments. Baseball games and new friendships. Henry living a normal life for the first time in his life. Henry finding out the kind of person he was deep down inside and finding his courage.

It's just an amazing book and I can't wait to finish the series. This needs to be on everyone's to read list, or even better, their read list. 

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