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Author: Wilson, Nathan D.
When Hyacinth Smith moves with her family to a new house, she discovers new friends and powerful enemies, and that her power with trees opens ways between worlds.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 192252
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 71729
Kirkus Reviews (04/01/17)
School Library Journal (05/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2017 Gr 4–7—When Hyacinth and her family arrive at their new home, they discover Great-Aunt Granlea, who refuses to leave. Using wood from the property's unnatural lightning tree forest, Granlea had created frame portals to other worlds. She recklessly allows hideous mushroom men to cross over, along with two brothers who are fleeing the undying witch-queen, Nimiane. Mordecai is a green man with the power to control grapevines. He and Caleb plan to finish the job their father began when he blinded Nimiane. Hyacinth, who has a gift for coaxing nearly dead trees back to life, uses her talent to escape through one of the trees after Nimiane. Traveling through trees and wooden boxes, Hyacinth, Mordecai, and Caleb eventually arrive in a faerie land and meet Kibs, who reluctantly agrees to help them capture Nimiane. This fast-paced fantasy features empathetic heroes and horrifying monsters and further defines the wickedness of the witch-queen villain in Wilson's "100 Cupboards" series. Followers may realize that Mordecai and Hyacinth are the true parents of Henry York, the hero of that trilogy, and recognize other characters, such as the little winged rhino-type raggants. Although this stand-alone fantasy doesn't fully explain how the cupboards came to be, it offers some insight into the popular series. VERDICT One need not have read Wilson's "100 Cupboards" books to enjoy this engrossing prequel. A solid addition to most middle grade collections.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 07/01/2017 Siblings Hyacinth and Lawrence Smith and their family are finally getting a permanent home—their father’s mysterious job had kept them moving in the past. All of the Smiths have magical abilities, but the two youngest Smiths will need everything they can muster as they try to thwart the evil witch-queen Nimiane’s plan to come through magical doors into their world. This delightful prequel to the 100 Cupboards trilogy is a worthy read on its own, or can follow the series: 100 Cupboards (2007), Dandelion Fire (2008), and The Chestnut King (2010). Lots of action complements well-drawn characters in a descriptive world that is at times a bit gross. The premise of the whole series is that mysterious doors lead to other worlds, and this book explains how those doors came to be and why they are a mix of good and bad. This would make an excellent read-aloud, and might work well with fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Missing series or Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society books; or go old school with Lloyd Alexander or Susan Cooper. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.