100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson.
Random House: NY, 2007.

Staying in his aunt and uncle's attic for the summer, Henry discovers 99 cupboards under the plaster in the wall. Two of the doors open on their own, beckoning. One cupboard has a light on in the middle of the night and mail. His grandfather's bedroom door has been sealed shut for two years, since his death, but a grandfatherly man roams the floor late at night. He'd like to talk to his uncle about these strange happenings; he's a good listener. But he decides to wait.

One of his cousins, Henrietta, snoops and pushes Henry to explore the cupboards despite his misgivings. Some lead to interesting places, others to dangerous situations. All can be accessed both directions unless the locking mechanism is utilized.

From the first moment, I wanted to explore the cabinets. The book is a little slow in getting to the subject, but not at all disappointing in the discoveries. Knowing now that this is the beginning of a series, I can see it was necessary to set up the characters and town well, before centering on what we all wanted to know about. Uncle Frank and Henry's new friend Zeke are likely to be important in the series. There are also family tidbits through the book that may or may not be setting up sequels.

The book is an easy and exciting read. It's a fairly low level book, but doesn't lose any appeal in that. A great adventure for 4th to 6th graders, especially boys. Reluctant readers as old as 8th. I'm happy to share this book, because it is hard to find books for 4th graders that are this compelling.

related-doors, magic, space and time, cousins, family life, Kansas, other worlds, portals, boys, mystery, adventure

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